13 Apr 2021

NZ astronomer remembers first manned space flight

From Morning Report, 8:55 am on 13 April 2021

Tuesday marks exactly sixty years since Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin flew Vostok 1 on a lap of the globe, in what was the first manned space flight.

The successful orbit took just under two hours and was a Soviet body blow to the United States, falling in the middle of a space race that had gripped the two Super Powers.

Astronomer Alan Gilmore, a former superintendent at Mt John observatory in Tekapo, still remembers that event on 12 April, 1961.