International Social Cooperation in Space Awareness
Yuri Gagarin, Yuri’s Night and First Orbit
Dr. Christopher Riley
Professor, The Lincoln School of Media, University of Lincoln
Dr. Christopher Welch
Director of Masters Programs, the International Space University
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin’s flight into space in April 1961 turned a hitherto unknown Soviet Air Force officer into a hero around the world. Upon his death in March 1968 he became an icon, his image forever frozen. Since then, the date of his flight has been celebrated in the Soviet Union and its successors as Cosmonautics Day. April 12, 2001 marked the 40th anniversary, and April 12, 2011 the 50th.