Today’s space news links back to Yuri’s Day

R7 rocketIt is surprising how much of today’s space news links directly back to the story of ‘Yuri’s Day’. Take the recent incident in which the crew of the International Space Station took to the ‘lifeboats’ in case of a possible collision with some space debris:

The ‘lifeboats’ were of course the Soyuz TMA2 re-entry capsules in which the crew had originally travelled to the ISS. The Soyuz spacecraft is originally a Soviet era design, (the name means ‘Union’) and was designed by Korolev and his team as a logical development of the Vostok system. Not only that, the launch vehicle for the Soyuz is a developed version of the R-7 that put Yuri into orbit, and Soyuz missions often fly from ‘Gagarin Start’ – the same launch-pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome from which the world’s first spaceman took off.

Another big current space story is of course, the retirement of NASA’s space shuttle fleet

– leaving the TMA launch vehicle as currently planet Earth’s main ‘heavy-lift’ spaceship. The ‘Road to the Stars’ created by Korolev and his teams, and first followed by Yuri Gagarin, not only remains open, it’s our main superhighway into space.

Soyuz TMA-16 launch vehicle being transported to pad


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