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This Day in History - 108 minutes

04/12/2005 11:11 AM

Today is the 44th anniversary of the world's first manned space flight. On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin blasted off from the Soviet Baikonur space center for a 108 minute flight in the Vosktok-1. How much has changed since those early days of the "Space Race." We've landed men on the Moon, sent probes around and out of the Solar System, and have a permanent space station orbiting the Earth.

(continued) For those alive at the time, what did you think about Gagarin's launch? Were you inspired by the fact that man had left Earth? Was this outweighed by the political ramifications of the event?

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Guru
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#1

Another Anniversary

04/12/2005 2:13 PM

Moose writes:
Fifty years ago today, Dr. Jonas Salk announced the development of a polio vaccine. In keeping with the spirit of the day, do those who remember Yuri Gagarin's spaceflight also recall Dr. Salk's announcement?

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The Architect
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#2

Red scare

04/12/2005 4:31 PM

My father-in-law was a HAM radio fan, and congratulated some communist/Russian people right after Sputnik was launched. (You could hear the signal from Sputnik with a HAM set, I believe.) Later, the FBI interviewed his neighbors, asking if he was loyal. (He was doing some work for our government.) So, my guess is that the average US citizen was not entirely pleased to have Reds in space before us.

[Disclaimer: This story may not be entirely true, but it could be... those were different times. Quick! Duck and cover!]

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