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Did you witness this historic event?

I did when boy. Only my witnessing was only aural listening to the radio. Little did I think that I would read of this 60th anniversary & new book.

‘Beyond’: UK author presents ‘exciting’ new book on Yuri Gagarin at Russian embassy in London, 60yrs since 1st manned space flight [rt.com]

FrayedBear 9 Apr 9
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Gotta put that on my reading list!

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I am too young, but I did witness the first moon landing and read about Yuri Gagarin with breathless wonder as a boy.
The shame being that in a plot worthy of a Dan Brown novel, once the USSR fell it was revealed Gagarin's achievement turned out to be possibly a propaganda exercise to cover the fact that Vladimir Ilyushin in the 'Rossiya' spacecraft was actually the first man to orbit earth in space but had died during his return to earth, five days before Vostok "1" was launched.
Ilyushin purportedly died in a car crash on the same day Rossiya was tracked by French military radar returning to earth.
To this day Russia insist that Rossiya was unmanned and that the credit go to Gagarin, undoubtedly time will tell.

And if the yanks hadn't started the cold war there would have been no need for such doubt.

Ooooh, this is the first I've heard of him. But a Google search yielded this page, which says he died in 2010! (I can't vouch for the veracity of this source though.)

[astronautix.com]

@altschmerz Interesting, seems the story keeps changing, seems now he did not die in 1961, but crashed in China, and spent some time there in a coma, but re-emerged some time later as the founder the Soviet Rugby Federation in 1967.
Still fascinating story nonetheless, thanks very much for the extra information.

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Yes I can just remember it. Yuri was a global hero, in a way which transcended politics. So sad that he died so young.

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