Friday, August 29, 2008

Yuri Gagarin

Юрий Гагарин
Apropos of nothing, here are some photos of Yuri Gararin, the first man in space.  Above is Gagarin in the capsule.  Below the front page of Komsomolskya Pravda for April 12, 1961.

Below is a photo sometime in the mid-late '60s. He was killed in a freak accident while re-training for fighter re-qualification in 1968. The USSR would never allow him to fly in space again. Had he been killed in a space accident, the blow to Soviet prestige would simply have been too great. Gagarin was just too valuable.

Although blameless in the accident that killed him, he suffered a peculiarly 20th century fate. I can't remember who said it, but they noted that Elvis and Gagarin had suffered a peculiar 20th century fate, they were coddled to death. To that list, I'd add JFK junior, John Lennon and Princess Diana.