I ran my own blog from November 2006 till October 2014. All posts are still online, but I don't have time to update it anymore. Please note that all images and media files have been removed when the backup was moved to a new host in early 2016. Enjoy!
Exactly 50 years ago, on 12 April 1961, soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to leave Earth, to fly into space and to experience weightlessness.
Even if it was just a single 108 minutes low orbit flight this day has been a major event in space history and also a major coup for Moscow in its Cold War space race with the United States.
After the successful flight Gagarin became a worldwide celebrity, visiting Italy, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Finland and the United Kingdom, promoting the Soviet Union of being the first country to put a human in space.
Gararin never returned to space as officials were worried losing their hero in an accident. Ironically he died only a few years later, on 27 March 1968, during a routine training flight in a MiG 15.