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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A small step for man

Forty-five years ago today, mankind took one of its transcendental leaps and crossed a formidable boundary for the very first time.

A Russian cosmonaut named Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin climbed into a vessel named Vostok 1 and was fired at hundreds of kilometers an hour into the sky.

The rocket engine he had been strapped to was powerful enough to push him up through Earth’s gravity well to an altitude of 315 kilometers and allowed him to make a full orbit of the planet before returning safely to Earth 108 minutes later.

Yuri Gargarin went boldly where no man had gone before, and his name will be forever remembered along with men like Orville and Wilbur Wright, Chuck Yeager and Neil Armstrong.