Cosmonautics day

On April 12th, Russia congratulates designers, researchers, engineers, workers and cosmonauts — everyone who works in the space industry. 

Cosmonautics Day is an anniversary of the first manned space flight made on 12 April 1961 by the Russian Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

 In Poland an “International Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics” is celebrated on the same day. 

Gagarin’s flight was a triumph for the Soviet space program, and opened a new era in the history of space exploration

In October 1957 USSR launched the first satellite Sputnik 1, which flew only 92 days.

Sergei Korolev

Sergei Korolev is credited as being the founder of the Soviet Union’s space program. Korolev was responsible for many of Russia’s well-known achievements in space exploration. This included the first satellite, Sputnik (1957); the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin (1961); and Luna 9, the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the moon (1966).

Little history

The first living creature, who visited space, was the dog Laika, a stray mongrel from the streets of Moscow. She was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957 on the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2. She proved that in space you can live not minutes and hours, but a day or more. However, there was overheating, and Laika died within a day after the launch. Then the rocket went out of orbit and burned in the atmosphere.

The dogs Belka and Strelka were more fortunate. On August 19, 1960 they visited space and returned alive. They flew 27 hours and made 17 turns around the Earth. It was the last launch before the human flight.

The first man in space.

The 27-year-old Russian Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on 9 April 1961 opened a new era in the history of space exploration. The flight, which became a breakthrough in the exploration of outer space, lasted only 108 minutes-flying around the globe, the ship landed safely near the village of Smelovka (Saratov region). Gagarin himself, when there were a few kilometers to the ground, catapulted, making a soft landing near the lander on a parachute.

Yuri Gagarin – the first cosmonaut who conquered the space expanses, his name was learned all over the world, received the title of major and Hero of the Soviet Union ahead of schedule. The day of his flight became a national holiday.

 The commemorative day was established in the Soviet Union one year later, on 9 April 1962.  

On February 22, 1966 the dogs Veterok and Ugolyok went into orbit aboard the spacecraft “Cosmos – 110”. The duration of their flight was at 23 days. It was a record for dogs. The Veterok and the Ugolyok returned extremely exhausted, with the hair and bedsores erased to the skin. It was the last “dog” flight in the history of cosmonautics.

Turtles were the first to fly around the moon. Soviet ship ZOND-5 with turtles on Board made a trip around the satellite in 1968. Turtles have chosen for this mission, as they are hardy and undemanding to food and air.

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space. She flew on the Vostok-6 ship in 1963-the flight lasted three days.

Nowadays the commemoration ceremony on Cosmonautics Day starts in the city of Korolyov, near Gagarin’s statue. Participants then proceed under police escort to Red Square for a visit to Gagarin’s grave in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis, and continue to Cosmonauts Alley, near the Monument to the Conquerors of Space. Finally, the festivities conclude with a visit to the Novodevichy Cemetery.


Soon after safety returning Strelka gave birth to three “girls” and three “boys”(puppies). They were demonstrated on TV. There was a perfectly white puppy named Pushok. The wife of US President Jacqueline Kennedy liked him. And Pushok was given to her. If he was fertile, like his mother, and now in America there are traces of Russian dogs-cosmonauts.

Author: Elena

Hi, My name is Elena. I am Russian living in the US. My blog is about my life and experience. This is my new hobby. So, please, don't be too hard on me. Thanks

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