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Yuri Gagarin (1934) Options
Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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Yuri Gagarin (1934)

Gagarin was a Russian cosmonaut who, in 1961, became the first human being to successfully travel into space. Gagarin circled the Earth once during his 1-hour-and-48-minute flight aboard the Vostok 1. His success is believed to have ushered in the modern era of man in space, and Gagarin toured widely to promote the Soviet achievement. Ironically, he died in a plane crash seven years later. What factors did Soviet officials consider when choosing Gagarin for the historic space flight? More...
Dr. Mohammed Albadri
Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 5:25:40 AM

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He has entered the history
Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 8:49:46 AM

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In August 1960, when Gagarin was one of 20 possible candidates, an Air Force doctor evaluated his personality as follows:

[M]odest; embarrasses when his humor gets a little too racy; high degree of intellectual development evident in Yuriy; fantastic memory; distinguishes himself from his colleagues by his sharp and far-ranging sense of attention to his surroundings; a well-developed imagination; quick reactions; persevering, prepares himself painstakingly for his activities and training exercises, handles celestial mechanics and mathematical formulae with ease as well as excels in higher mathematics; does not feel constrained when he has to defend his point of view if he considers himself right; appears that he understands life better than a lot of his friends.
—Soviet Air Force doctor, [10]
Gagarin was also a favoured candidate by his peers. When the 20 candidates were asked to anonymously vote for which other candidate they would like to see as the first to fly, all but three chose Gagarin.[11] One of these candidates, Yevgeny Khrunov, believed that Gagarin was very focused, and was demanding of himself and others when necessary.[12]

Gagarin kept physically fit throughout his life, and was a keen sportsman. Cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky wrote:

Service in the Air Force made us strong, both physically and morally. All of us cosmonauts took up sports and PT seriously when we served in the Air Force. I know that Yuri Gagarin was fond of ice hockey. He liked to play goal keeper... I don't think I am wrong when I say that sports became a fixture in the life of the cosmonauts.[13]
Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 3:38:56 PM

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I guess being short has its advantages. Strikingly handsome man though.
Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 3:44:07 PM

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Yuri, I raise my glass to you.
Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 7:59:02 PM

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I began with Gagarin to learn about space. I like pioneers and I would like to be one in an emerging tech
Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 8:58:32 PM

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I agree with Kenturner1 that Yuri is a "strikingly handsome man," with such a sincere, warm, and manly face; and with Absurdicus, for I, too, raise my glass to Gagarin.

But on a personal note, I was struck with how a boy from a farming background--his mother a milkmaid, his father a carpentar--was able to raise so high, learning to fly and to be the first man to orbit the earth. Gagarin seems to be proof of the value of the Soviet education system. I wonder how many boys at West Point or the Naval Academy come from humble backgrounds. I got the feeling that there was a solidarity among the Soviets, a communal sense of worth and value.

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