It was 50 years ago today that Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit the Earth. He was born in poverty in the Soviet Union, had his home seized by Nazis during WWII and yet went on to become one of the most important figures of the 20th century. He was a hero and inspiration to many and his flight marked a new era in human history.
There’s a film premiering today on YouTube that was shot from the International Space Station to recreate the original first orbit of Vostok 1. They’ve incorporated the audio from the mission, so you can actually hear Gagarin react to what is happening. http://www.youtube.com/firstorbit
There’s an interview with Elena Gagarin, his oldest daughter, on the Guardian website. It’s the first time she’s done an interview with the Western media. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/apr/11/yuri-gagarin-daughter-elena-interview?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
And in a bit of inspired awesomeness to commemorate the day, NASA released a video of a flute duet with Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson on Earth and astronaut Col. Cady Coleman on the ISS. http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=79119001