FIRST MAN IN SPACE
The 12th of April 1961 was an extraordinary day for the Russians, and especially for Yuri Gagarin who on that day became the first man in Space.
The spaceship that Mr Gagarin went on was tiny. The flight lasted 108 minutes. When he returned in his rocket he was congratulated by the whole of Russia. His family were waiting for him when he got off the flight.
We spoke to Yuri’s father, Mr Gagarin (59) who told us that since the WWII Yuri had dreamt of becoming an astronaut. He was a very experienced Russian air force pilot; his rank was colonel. Mr Gagarin said that he was over the moon that his son was the first man to go into Space. He was also extremely proud because it was a very dangerous thing to do.
MAN ON THE MOON
On 16th July 1969 at 13:32:00, Apollo 11 blasted off from the Kennedy Space Station in Florida, USA. It made it to the Moon at 02:56 am, on 20th July 1969. Man has walked on the Moon!
Three men, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were blasted off at a whopping speed of Moc-5, that is 5 times the speed of sound. With the help of NASA’s mission control leader, Charlie Duke, they were able to make a whole orbit around the Earth at thousands of MPS (miles per second)!
Apollo 11 carried all of the crew along with the Eagle landing module and the Columbia orbiting module. It took 4 days for the ship to reach the Moon’s orbit. At precisely 20:17:40 on 20.07.1969, Armstrong and Aldrin left the Columbia rocket to enter the Eagle that would land them on the Moon. Mr Collins selflessly stayed in the Columbia, orbiting the Moon so that all the astronauts could return home after their mission.
The world waited and finally, out of the darkness came the words, “Houston... the Eagle has landed.” The Moon has been conquered by
It was also a victory for America in the Cold War space race against the Soviet Union.
Eight years earlier, President John F Kennedy said, “I believe this nation should commit itself to the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”
The mission has been accomplished!
Matthew and Campbell
THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
On 20th November 1998, the first part of the ISS (International Space Station) took off from Russia.
It was a sight to watch as the giant rocket blasted up into the sky. The station will be constructed over a period of 13 years and is to be completed in 2011. It will be kept in service until 2015. It is a joint effort by Russia and America. Mr Makoe (37), the Chief Building Engineer, said, “This could only have been done by joint nations helping each other.”
The ISS is led by the USA and draws upon scientific and technological resources of 16 nations: Canada, Japan, Russia, several nations of the European Space Agency and Brazil. It will be a laboratory for experiments on space medicine, human research and travel to Mars. The new hope for the world is that the ISS will help enrich our knowledge of the Earth and the Universe.
Mr Chang, 32, from Beijing in China, said, “It is an honour to be here, at what could be the biggest event of the decade. To think thirty years ago humankind had only just landed on the Moon, and now we are sending space stations up, so we can live in Space!”
Alice and Oscar