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Do You Remember Yuri Gagarin?

by Ed McDonough (07/17/08).
Photograph of Yuri Gagarin as he appeared during his 1961 flight
Additional Views of the Yuri Gagarin Commemorative
Yuri Gagarin commemorative issue of Perth Mint's

In 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter space and orbit the globe for 108 minutes aboard Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok I) and returned safely to earth. What a brave cosmonaut!!

The Perth Mint (Australia) is in the process of minting their “Orbit and Beyond” series. Last year a Sputnik commemorative was issued. Remember the sensational 1958 Sputnik launch which started our space race with the USSR?

These coins have revolutionary design in which the .999 silver dollar rotates about a brass core. The core has colored views of “The Blue Marble” from space. The reverse of the silver collar shows images depicting Gagarin’s historic flight: The blasting of the Vostok rocket, Vostok I in orbit, separation of the instrument and re-entry modules, fiery re-entry, and the independent parachute landings of Vostok and Gagarin. The border inscription reads: 1961 – FIRST MAN IN SPACE – YURI GAGARIN.

The craft experienced failure during re-entry causing the capsule to spin wildly during re-entry and would only settle down when wires were burned through during this phase. During re-entry Gagarin experienced 8 G’s but did not lose consciousness.

Yuri lost his life in 1968 during a crash of an MIG test flight. He will, however, never lose his title of FIRST MAN IN SPACE – YURI GAGARIN.

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