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Forum:Space Explorers & Workers
Topic:Rare footage of Yuri Gagarin restored, reunited
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The section of Yuri Gagarin has been slowed down for better viewing. And one freeze frame.

"Watching the footage," explained Katrina Pescador, the Museum's head archivist, "I could immediately see why Gagarin had a magnetic appeal to the crowds that followed him. To have a Soviet military officer, in military uniform, receive adulation in the West at the height of the Cold War seems very odd. But just to watch this brief fragment of footage, and see Gagarin's charismatic smile, explains it all. It goes to show how a small piece of film footage, rescued in this way, can provide a key glimpse into a puzzling historical question."

FFrenchThe above press release, which the museum also posted as a blog, turned out to be an example of how a comparatively minor story about our museum's film digitizing machine can snowball into a big story, because of the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's flight.

This little scrap of film was one of the top items on the San Diego TV news this morning and tonight, along with the shuttle disposition story, and I did a number of media interviews with the BBC and others via phone in Manchester too. Nice to see the interest this moment when East met West generated today.

Although the film footage is very brief, I think the second link above (the slowed-down version) really shows in an instant why Gagarin captivated the West - everyone I know who has seen it so far has remarked on that winning smile.

It's been a fun little project and, through the kind assistance of Gurbir Singh in Manchester, I was able to establish that the rest of the footage (narrowly) survived and watch the entire thing digitally - the first time this century it was possible to watch it all.

GurbirThanks to your speedy blogging and press releases, the few days around the 50th anniversary have been particularly stimulating and exciting.

Naturally, it does not quite compare with First Orbit, but I have partially reunited your section with the original and is available on my blog here.

It now includes a couple of sections with Gagarin speaking whilst in Manchester, translated by Boris Belitski who was travelling with him.

For the full length version (minus Francis' section) is available from the North West Film Archive.

gliderpilotukGreat interview with Eric Brown, Gurbir. Never knew that Winkle had met Gagarin. The greatest test pilot (487 a/c types) meets the first man in space. Remarkable.
FFrenchThanks Gurbir - it is great to watch your edited version, especially where my footage blends with the rest after all this time. We're at over a thousand views of the footage on the museum's YouTube site, which is wonderful.
Colin E. AndertonThere's some great BBC TV coverage of Gagarin on the BBC site, including a press interview with British journalists (including Richard Dimbleby) - and part of the Manchester press conference.

Better still, they've got the entire ten-minute radio news coverage some nine hours or so after the end of the Vostok 1 flight.

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