Cosmonautics Day 2024: Discover its History and Facts

Cosmonautics Day 2024, celebrated annually in Russia and former Soviet Union countries, commemorates Yuri Gagarin's 1961 crewed space mission, becoming the first human to orbit Earth.

Cosmonautics Day 2024: Russia and other nations formerly comprising the Soviet Union annually observe Cosmonautics Day on April 12. On April 12, 1961, Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin led the first crewed space flight. Thus, Gagarin became the first human to orbit Earth and the Soviet Union was the first nation to launch a crewed space mission. He became a national idol in his home country after receiving the highest distinction, ‘icon of the Soviet Union,’ The Soviet Union proclaimed April 12th, 1962, as Cosmonautics Day on April 9th.

Cosmonautics Day: History

The Soviet Union launched the inaugural crewed space mission on April 12, 1961, marking a historic event. Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, a cosmonaut aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft, accomplished the historic feat of being the first human to complete a 108-minute orbit around the planet. The Soviet space program regarded this feat as a milestone and it ushered in an unprecedented epoch in the pursuit of outer space. Throughout the journey, Gagarin uttered only the following statements: “Everything is running smoothly; I am in good health.” Gagarin’s momentous ascent elevated him to the esteemed positions of celebrity and hero.

Famous international newspapers published his biography and flight details. Following his motorcade arrival in the Kremlin with high-ranking officials, Nikita Khrushchev awarded him the highest Soviet honor, “Hero of the Soviet Union.” He also got the ‘Order of Lenin,’ ‘Merited Master of Sports of the Soviet Union,’ ‘Hero of Socialist Labor in Czechoslovakia,’ ‘Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Gold Medal,’ and ‘Pilot-Cosmonaut of the U.S.S.R.’ The USSR declared April 9, 1962, Cosmonautics Day. After being appointed a deputy to the Soviet Union in 1962, he was promoted to colonel on November 6, 1963. On April 7, 2011, the UN General Assembly declared the April 12th International Day of Human Space Flight to commemorate the historic mission’s 50th anniversary. On April 12, the World Space Party (Yuri’s Night) has been celebrated worldwide since 2001.

In the city of Korolyov, attendees gather at Gagarin’s statue in observance of Cosmonautics Day. They proceed from that location to his interment in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. The procession then proceeds to Cosmonauts Alley before concluding with a stop at the Novodevichy Cemetery.

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Cosmonautics Day: FAQs

Who was the initial female astronaut?

Russian Valentina Tereshkova embarked on her inaugural spacewalk on June 16, 1963. She deployed on a solitary mission atop the Vostok 6.

Who is the eldest surviving astronaut?

Frank Boorman, who is 94 years old, is the eldest surviving former American astronaut.

Who first set foot on the moon?

Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin made history on July 20, 1969, by landing on the moon aboard the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle, which the United States operated.

Five Facts for Yuri Gagarin

  1. 1968 saw the redesignation of the Russian Air Force Academy as the Gagarin Air Force Academy.
  2. The Continental Hockey League designates the championship trophy as the Gagarin Cup.
  3. Russia issued a series of coins emblazoned with Gagarin’s image in 2001.
  4. The municipality of Gzhatsk in Smolensk Oblast was renamed Gagarin after his demise in 1968.
  5. They bestowed his name on the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City on April 30, 1968.

Cosmonautics Day: Dates

2024April 12Friday
2025April 12Saturday
2026April 12Sunday
2027April 12Monday
2028April 12Wednesday

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