Yuri Gagarin’s First Space Flight – Not As Planned

Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight did not go as planned.

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. Soviets Lied About Yuri Gagarin’s 1961 First Space Flight

Officials in the Soviet Union lied about the success of Yuri Gagarin’s historic 1961 space flight and covered up the fact he landed more than 200 miles away from where he was supposed to.

The Soviets touted his mission, the first manned flight into space, as a “major Cold War propaganda coup, portraying it as a glitch-free triumph of Communist ideology,” The Telegraph in Britain observed.

But a new book published on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s flight discloses that Soviet scientists miscalculated where he would land after his one orbit of the earth, and there was no one on the ground to meet him when he arrived some 500 miles south of Moscow.

“For many years, Soviet literature claimed that Yuri Gagarin and his Vostok landing capsule had come down in the area it was supposed to,” according to the book, “108 Minutes That Changed the World” by Russian journalist Anton Pervushin.

But this was “far from the truth,” he writes, explaining that Soviet scientists had expected him to land nearly 250 miles farther south.

“So it turned out that nobody was waiting or looking for Yuri Gagarin. Therefore the first thing he had to do after landing was set off to look for people and communications so he could tell the leadership where he was.”

The Soviets also lied when they claimed Gagarin had touched down inside the capsule, when in fact he landed separately via a parachute, the author adds.

The book also reveals that before his flight, Gagarin wrote a letter to be given to his family if his mission proved fatal, telling his wife not to “die of grief” if he did not return alive.

Gagarin’s wife did not get to read the letter until 1968, after Gagarin’s death at the age of 34 in a plane crash whose cause has never been positively determined.

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About delashmit

Dr. Walter H. Delashmit (MCHS 1962) retired from Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control on 1 January 2007 after 25 years at Lockheed and 39 years in the aerospace industry. He is presently doing consulting for the Neural Decision Lab (Arlington, Texas). In addition from August 2007 until June 2009, Walter was an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of North Texas teaching Advanced Electrical Engineering Courses. In addition to graduating from MCHS, Walter has a BSEE from Christian Brothers University (1966) graduating cum laude, a MSEE from with a minor in mathematics from the University of Tennessee (1968) and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington (2003). Walter has worked at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (1982-2007) developing "smart" missile systems, at the Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Laboratory (1976-1982) developing advanced torpedo systems, at Martin Marietta Aerospace (1972-1976) developing advanced cruise missile technology and at TRW Systems (1969-1972) working on the Apollo and Skylab Programs, including Apollo 13. Walter received a copy of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from NASA for his work on Apollo 13 and received the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Presidents Performance Award for his work on developing and implementing Improved Software Processes. He has also received many other awards. Walter is a Life Senior Member (LSM) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a member of Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering Honor Society) and Tau Beta Pi (Engineering Honor Society). Walter has 40 peer reviewed technical publications in advanced Technical Journals and Conferences. He also regularly reviews articles for consideration for publication in advanced technical journals. Walter is an avid runner and completed the Boston Marathon in 1998. Walter and his wife Janice live in Justin, Texas. Walter has 2 sons, Mark Robert Delashmit and Rick Alan Delashmit, a grandson Christian Reeves Delashmit and a granddaughter Victoria Alexis Delashmit.
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