Yuri Gagarin was the man who could literally lay claim to the phrases "to go where no man has gone before" and to "cross the final frontier" when he became the first man to enter deep space on 12th April 1961. Upon his safe return to earth after completing a full orbit of the earth he became an over night legend who the whole world was to celebrate as a hero with even the Americans congratulating him albeit through clenched teeth. This was the moment in time when the Soviets really upped the ante in the space race, it was the height of the cold war and the Soviets were streets ahead of the Americans in the race for outer space but the U.S. response was swift, in a speech by John F. Kennedy on 25th May 1961 the president lay down the goal of a manned flight to the moon before the end of the decade and the space race was truly on. Gagarin died prematurely in an air crash while flying a MIG on 27th March 1968 prompting many conspiracy theories surrounding his death. However what many overlook is he was the back up pilot for the Soyez program and during the inaugural flight of Soyez 1 the pilot Vladimir Komarov died in a crash upon re-entry. Gagarin was a national hero so the Soviets withdrew him from the space program as he was too important for them in the propaganda war with the west, so it was very clear they needed him alive. As a true Soviet hero his ashes have been interred in the walls of the Kremlin and his name will always be honoured in the annals of history as the man who dared to take that first flight into outer space. When legends speak the whole world listens and he was very good for a one liner, so here is my compilation of 10 of the best Yuri Gagarin quotes
- Mini Bio
- Name: Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin
- Born: Born: 9th March 1934, Klushino, Gzhatskiy rayon, Zapadnaya oblast, Soviet Union
- Died: 27th March 1968, Novosyolovo, Soviet Union
- Alma mater: Saratov Industrial Technical School and Orenburg First Chkalov Air Force Pilot's School
- Occupation: Pilot and cosmonaut
- Rank: Colonel in the Soviet Air Force
- Height: 5' 2" (1.57 m)
- Notable awards: Hero of the Soviet Union (14th April 1961) and Order of Lenin (14th April 1961)
- Space race propaganda: The Russian word Vostok when translated literally means "east" so it was seen as a major cold war victory that the eastern Soviet block was the first to put a man into space
- Trivia: His Vostok spacecraft that was the vehicle to make history as he piloted it to become the first man in space was actually an adapted R-7 Semyorka missile
- Quotes about Yuri Gagarin: Space journalist Vladimir Gubarev said this of him: "For 10 whole minutes of his flight, he thought he was dead. The flight was absolutely heroic. It was unimaginably difficult. People thought a man might go crazy in space"
- Vostok engineer Georgy Grechko paid tribute to his bravery by saying: "When I dream now, it is mostly nightmares about the descent. When the craft re-enters the thick levels of the Earth's atmosphere, it burns. The flames tear at the craft. It rolls and the coating melts. It's scary"
"Looking at the earth from afar you realize it is too small for conflict and just big enough for co-operation"
"I enjoyed the rich color spectrum of the earth. It is surrounded by a light blue aureole that gradually darkens, becoming turquoise, dark blue, violet, and finally coal black"
"Circling the earth in the orbital spaceship I marvelled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world!! Let us safeguard and enhance this beauty-not destroy it"
"Nothing will stop us. The road to the stars is steep and dangerous. But we're not afraid"
"I could have gone on flying through space forever"
"To be the first to enter the cosmos, to engage, single-handed, in an unprecedented duel with nature - could one dream of anything more?"
"The Earth is blue ... how wonderful. It is amazing"
"The main force in man - is the power of the spirit"
"I looked and looked but I didn't see God"
"I am a friend, comrades, a friend"