AOH :: GAGARIN.TXT|
Gagarin's first spaceflight nearly ended in disaster!
Yuri Gagarin Flight Ended in Panic
NEW YORK --The Soviet Union surged ahead in the space race
when it launched Lt. Yuri Gagarin into orbit in 1961. Now
experts have learned that Gagarin's flight nearly ended in
disaster, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Sotheby's will auction off notes written by Gagarin's
commander that tell how the spaceship, the Vostok I, spun
dangerously out of control near the end of its orbit around
"Malfunction!" the commander, Col. Yevgeny Karpov,
wrote in a frantic scrawl. "Sudden impact!" he continued,
adding that the spaceship was spinning wildly. "Don't
Panic!" "Emergency Situation."
After 10 minutes of high drama, the Times said, the
spacecraft separated from the braking rocket that was
causing it to lurch and, still wobbling, began its descent
back into the atmosphere.
The Times said Western space experts have authenticated the
episode from other Russian sources, including a report by
Gagarin himself, and have concluded that he had a
close brush with death.
"In a number of ways it could have killed him," said James
Oberg, an expert on the Russian space program and a
consultant to Sotheby's.
Experts said that if the dangerous nature of Gagarin's
flight had been known at the time, it might have changed the
course of history.
"There's no question that Kennedy would have been much
slower in making a commitment to send Americans to the
moon," said John Logsdon, director of the Space Policy
Institute at George Washington University.
Logsdon said the revelation would likely have forced the
White House to heed advisers who were leery of sending
humans into orbit.
Ohio Sen. John Glenn, who became the first American in orbit
in 1962, agreed. "If something like that had been known, it
might have played into the hands of the doubters," he said.
Sotheby's auction of space paraphernalia, including Karpov's
notes, is scheduled for March 16 in New York.
The entire AOH site is optimized to look best in Firefox® 3 on a widescreen monitor (1440x900 or better).
Site design & layout copyright © 1986- AOH
We do not send spam. If you have received spam bearing an artofhacking.com email address, please forward it with full headers to email@example.com.