Posted by Suchaita Tenneti on 2011-04-13
We’ve seen so many pictures of the moon, the stars and the entire galaxy that they no longer surprise us. But who doesn’t dream of visiting space?
April 12th 2011 is the day to remember the mission and the person who helped us learn and dream about space—Yuri Gagarin. In 1961, the young astronaut shocked the world by making it to space in the Soviet Vostok rocket. This sparked off many space missions. The Americans were very upset that the Russians got to space before they did, so they sent the first people to the moon—Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin—in Apollo 11 in 1969. Research on Mars and other planets have followed. In 1984, India’s own Rakesh Sharma made it to space. We fondly remember Kalpana Chawla who was killed in the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia explosion. And of course, India’s moon landing in 2008 was a milestone in our history. When Yuri Gagarin visited India in 2008, he said that India would do well in space exploration and we have proved him right!
Interestingly, articles like insulin pumps, teeth braces and even sunglasses were designed for space exploration and research! Could you imagine that these common items have such an interesting history? And what about satellite TV? Space tourism might become a weekend holiday one day and a team of researchers is mining the moon for minerals. So although Gagarin died at the young age of 34, he has left a magical door open for us!