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Research on Anniversary Presentation for Gagarin flight

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posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 03:04 PM
Research on Gagarin flight

In my research for a new powerpoint presentation on the 50th anniversary of April 12, 1961 --
'Gagarin and Vostok -- the Mission, the Man, the Machine, the Myths, the Mysteries...'
I came across a detailed description/illustration of the control panels that needs to be shared:

I'm also pulling together some of my favorite illustrations, old and new, such as the
awesome view from a tower-mounted pad camera of the rocket passing upwards, out of
sight, and then its shadow crawling across the ground towards the horizon. It
blows my mind every time I see it.

Any other suggested 'favorite images' from space fans would be greatly appreciated,
such as shots of Gagarin in training for Soyuz 1/2 and other images I'm sure I've forgotten,
lost, or never even seen.

Two lists are also going to be highlighted in the presentation:

1. Things we didn't know before the flight that became known from its success --
for example, could the human mind endure the experience, could the heart and
other organs function [dog flights hinted 'maybe/probably' but the docs still weren't
all that certain], would enough of the systems of the most complex flying machine ever
built actually work, were there a few 'unknown unknowns' [the dragons and sea serpents]
still out there that hadn't been detected yet, and others??? . My point: the flight made the
greatest-ever discoveries of any human space flight since, discoveries so profound that
we've mostly forgotten that we ever didn't always know them.

2. Things we think we DO know about the flight that aren't so. As the event becomes
barnacled by retellings and elaborations of both creeping and leaping errors, it's harder
and harder to see past them into the heart of the original event. Some are trivial, if
annoying, ranging from calling it 'Vostok-1' to spelling the pilot's name 'Gargarin'
(and the dozen different ways to transliterate Ю́рий), to the picky [did he REALLY
complete one full Earth orbit -- YES, in the only reference frame that really matters,
geocentric inertial], to the silly (the old Ilyushin-was-first story refuses to stay dead).

Oh, and was he really 'armed' -- that Makarov pistol supposedly in his survival kit?
What kind of hand-held cameras did he carry? I've got to edit and re-edit what
I think I remember myself, having gotten old enough to learn to distrust personal
memories, too. And to rely on my friends and colleagues,

Any help will improve the product which will soon be shared with all.

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 05:33 PM
Have you dug up any information on Gagarin being the 2nd man in space? It's rumoured that Vladimir Ilyushin was the first man up in space, but things went awry on re-entry and he landed in China causing a political crisis, so Gagarin was shot up into space quickly and brought back so he could be paraded as the first man in space.

Ilyushin or Gagarin

Btw, not shooting down your work, just presenting the information, which I find quite intriguing.

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 05:42 PM

makes interesting reading also

posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 10:15 AM
Now I am somewhat surprised, I half expected this thread to explode into a discussion (sensible) on early space flight missions between the USA and the USSR. I was being quiet serious about the claims of pre-Gagarin flight as it was reported in the left-wing media in the UK in the 1950's around the time of those early flights.

I find the whole sphere of space flight interesting, and given the general level of paranoia and intense security on all sides, that there would have been several stories that would have been highly secret then that might surface now about trial flights, failed missions, unexplained failures and issues that can now be revealed or worked out, and so on.

I'm not looking at the fringe theories, but mainstream facts, security issues, and such that might now be revealed.

posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 12:52 PM
These are exactly the puzzles that i've lookedi nto for many years,
and they provide amazing insights into what was gonig on BEHIND
the headlines. The stories made some sense in the bad old days
of Soviet coverups and fabrications. Some were plausible, if unproven.

In hindsight i think the evidence shows they didn't happen, but just
'might have', until fuller information access arrived after the blessed collapse
of communism and the USSR.

Here are some links of some of my results:

"As a lifelong 'space nut', as well as a professional 'rocket scientist'
for NASA in Houston, the Gagarin celebration is close to my heart.

I remember the day of the flight, since even though I was
only 16, I had been an enthusiast for space exploration since
BEFORE 'Sputnik'. Since then, I've done spaceflight as a
profession, been a major contributor to 'Astronomy' magazine
(USA) since it was founded in 1974 (and have the January 2011
cover story), and since 2003 have been the NBC News (USA)
space consultant and commentator.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary, I wrote this commentary,
which you are free to link to, or use in any other way you decide:

I am now nearly done preparing a one-hour powerpoint presentation
in honor of the 50th anniversary: "Gagarin and Vostok: The mission,
the machine, the man, and the myths and mysteries." I would be happy
to show you sample slides.

I have my own anniversary to mark on April 12, thirty years after
the day I sat at my console in Mission Control in Houston to help
with the very first space shuttle launch. It too was a great day.

Here are some more links to historical materials I have prepared
over the years to help clarify the Gagarin mission and its world

For many years, I have debunked the widespread myths and fabrications
about 'secret dead cosmonauts' and claims that Gagarin's flight was preceded
by other Russians such as Sergey Ilyushin. Such silly claims linger on, but
my work has helped to diminish their credibility. Here's my original
work [] and some later
updates [ and]

Also, a lecture program: “Cosmonauts and Cosmo-NOTS -- the history of
Soviet space photographic forgeries and the lessons for the future.”
In the early years of the Space Age, the Russians retouched dozens
of photos of their cosmonauts to conceal unflattering information about
accidents, setbacks, and misbehavior -- but Western investigators
(led by me) found original versions of the images and tracked down
what the erased cosmonauts had really done, or had done to them.

posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 01:02 PM

Originally posted by dereks

makes interesting reading also

excellent link, I had not known about it.

Another fuss is whether gagarin actually completed one full
orbit around the Earth, since he took off eastwards from Kazakhstan
but landed on the banks of the Volga, a place that was WEST of the
launch point by 15 degrees of longitude.

In the 108 minutes of the flight, Earth had rotated 27 degrees to the east.

But it was only 'short' of one full pass because Earth was spinning,
carrying the landing point eastwards. In 'inertial space', with no rotation,
the vostok flight path was indeed MORE than a 360 deg loop. He would
have landed 12 degrees EAST of the launch point, closing the circle.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:03 AM
Thanks for the information Jim, I look forward to a good read when you've completed your presentation.

Do you think a fuller analysis of Soviet efforts in the race to the moon, and other space efforts, might be possible now? I am sure there is a lot of information to be published to round out the details we already of of the US programme, and to some extent British efforts with the Blue Streak.

Where do you stand on the Italian brothers who claimed to be listening in on Russian efforts and heard signals of lost cosmonauts? I've read the material, which is interesting, but never heard an opinion from someone who has some credibility within the community.

My own efforts in the space race where to do with writing software to calculate beam patterns, dish sizes, and satellite simulation software back in the miid-80's, but my lack of a higher degree in physics/mathematics pushed me into other areas.

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