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  YuriGagarin50 campaign (UK Space Agency)

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Author Topic:   YuriGagarin50 campaign (UK Space Agency)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-17-2010 07:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UK Space Agency release
Britain's first astronaut launches campaign to celebrate 50th anniversary of first human spaceflight

YuriGagarin50, a campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight and the achievements of UK and Russian spaceflight over the past 50 years, was launched last week (Thursday 10th June) by Dr Helen Sharman OBE at the House of Commons.

Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space and the first person to orbit the Earth on 12 April 1961. YuriGagarin50, which is part funded by the UK Space Agency, aims to encourage activities around the anniversary on 12 April 2011 and raise awareness of the legacy of Gagarin's flight.

The YuriGagarin50 website has a searchable calendar of events planned to celebrate the anniversary, which include exhibitions, talks and hands on activities. As the site develops in the run up to the anniversary, further information will be included on Yuri Gagarin, his visit to the UK in July 1961, and current space activities in the UK and Russia.

Dr. Welch, Chair of YuriGagarin50, also announced the 'Rockets for Yuri' initiative, which will encourage the public to take part in a mass launching of air and water-powered rockets at locations across the UK at 12pm on 12th April 2011, to celebrate Gagarin's flight.

Dr Helen Sharman, who became Britain's first astronaut when she spent 7 days on the Mir Space Station in 1991, said "After his historic flight, Yuri Gagarin was given the international crown for inspiration and wherever he went people thronged in the street to see him. On my last night in space, reflecting on my time, I realised that being away from Earth reinforced what my Russian friends had told me on the ground - what's important is personal relationships and what people can do together. Space is grand and being part of it makes people feel grand."

Six of the UK's young 'future space stars' spoke about how had space inspired them and their vision for the UK's future involvement in space. Ruth Pearson, who will begin a PhD in cosmology at the University of Sussex in September said, "I am inspired by the way countries cooperate in space and I believe that this type of collaboration in science can help us solve many of the humanitarian problems we face."

The UK Space Agency's contribution to YuriGagarin50 is through its "Space for All" programme - a new community sponsorship award scheme which allows organisations and individuals to apply for funding for innovative projects that promote the UK space programme, and inspire the use of space as a focus for learning in schools and colleges.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-18-2011 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
YuriGagarin50 release
Appeal for Memories of Yuri Gagarin Launched As Countdown to 50th Anniversary Begins

An appeal has been launched for people that met Yuri Gagarin, or were inspired by his visit to the UK in July 1961, to share their memories and pictures online. The appeal is part of YuriGagarin50, a campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's flight in the UK.

Following his historic first human spaceflight on 12th April 1961, Gagarin embarked on a world tour. As a former foundry worker, he was invited to visit Manchester in the UK by the Amalgamated Union of Foundry Workers. The Macmillan Government extended the invitation to London, adding an extra few days to the planned tour. Gagarin visited the UK between Tuesday 11th and Saturday 15th July 1961, visiting Manchester on Wednesday 12th July.


Yuri Gagarin in Manchester Credit: Roy Darbyshire

"Gagarin's flight was an immensely important cultural event, as well as a technological milestone," said Dr Chris Welch, the Chair of YuriGagarin50. "You can see clearly in contemporary footage and images how warmly the British people received Gagarin during his visit to the UK. We know that meeting or seeing Gagarin left a huge impression on many people. We would like very much to hear those stories and find out about the impact that the events of 1961 had on their lives."

Surprisingly, there has not been a definitive timeline published of Gagarin's movements during his visit. YuriGagarin50 hopes that this appeal will fill in some of the gaps.

"There are several wonderful photographs that show Gagarin meeting people during his tour. We would very much like to make contact with some of them - the boy that gate crashed the press conference at the Soviet Exhibition at Earl's Court, the boy who dressed up in a spacesuit to meet Gagarin at Burlington House, the girl who presented Gagarin with flowers on his arrival at the Russian Embassy. It would be fantastic to hear their memories, or the stories that have been passed down through families, and it would also help us pin down exactly what Gagarin did and who he met during those five days," said Dr Welch.

John Zarnecki, Professor of Space Science at the Open University is perhaps the clearest example of someone who was inspired by Gagarin's visit. Aged 11, he was given the day off school to see Gagarin visit Karl Marx's grave in Highgate Cemetery. He later went on to follow a career in space science and was the lead scientist for the Surface Science Package, an instrument carried by the European Space Agency's Huygens probe, which landed on Saturn's moon Titan in January 2005. Huygens holds the record for the most distant landing of man-made object from Earth.

"I really became hooked on space exploration in 1961 after a chance encounter with this man - Yuri Gagarin - the first man in Space and overnight the most famous man on Earth," said Prof Zarnecki.

Memories and photos can be submitted through the YuriGagarin50 website.

The Russian news agency, RIA Novosti, is also looking to track down some of the people photographed with Yuri Gagarin in images from its online archive. The photos can be found by searching with the keyword "YG50" at VisualRian.com.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 01-18-2011 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those of you with very old issues of "Spaceflight" magazine, I wrote an article about this, "Yuri Gagarin's Visit To Manchester," for the July 1998 issue. In the 1980s I'd interviewed a number of people who were involved in his visit and met him. It sounded like pre-Beatles Beatlemania - an amazing wave of enthusiasm hard to imagine now around a space event.

This old newsreel gives just a small idea of the crowds that followed him everywhere, often in pouring rain. The guy was literally swept off his feet on occasion and carried away from the dignitaries by cheering crowds.

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 03-04-2011 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I gave permission for the web site to post my Gagarin article from 1998, based on my 1980s direct interviews, and they have now done so. Hope it is an interesting read, especially for UK readers.

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