The 12th of April, was Cosmonautics Day in Russia.
Russian people love holidays. Among the mostly celebrated ones are the New Year, Victory Day (the 9th of May) and International Women’s Day (the 8th of March). However there are also national holidays called commemorative days.
Among such holidays is Cosmonautics Day, celebrated on April, 12th. The holiday was established one year after the crucial space flight of Yuri Gagarin which took place on the 12th of April 1961. On April 12th, 2011 it was also declared as the International Day of Human Space Flight by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Although the flight itself which Gagarin carried out aboard the spacecraft Vostok 1 lasted for just 1 hour 48 minutes it changed the world forever, revealing new opportunities in space exploration. It was also a triumph of the Soviet Space program. Gagarin was awarded with the highest Soviet honor, the title of «Hero of the Soviet Union.»
Before a man went to space there were several experiments with animals and in 1960 the first living creatures from Earth, two dogs named Belka and Strelka, returned to the Earth intact after having spent 25 hours aboard the spacecraft Sputnik-5. It is interesting to mention that already after the legendary flight Strelka had six puppies that were all healthy. One of them was given as a gift to the American president Kennedy by Nikita Khrushchev.
There were numerous beautiful stamps made to commemorate the historic flight of the Vostok 1 and Yury Gagarin to celebrate Cosmonautics Day.
Now in the 21st century we can witness the amazing success of space exploration. A man has stepped on the moon, spaceships have made it to Mars and to Venus, thousands of satellites circle the Earth, and there is the International Space Station – our opportunities are endless. Many countries have already put a lot of efforts into the development of space technology and only in cooperation will mankind be able to achieve even more!