Yuri Gagarin needs no introduction. He was simply the first human to go to space during the Vostok 1 mission, April 12, 1961, as part of the Soviet space program.
Before his death, Yuri Gagarin acquired international popularity. He was decorated with numerous honors, including Hero of the Soviet Union and the Medal of the Order of Lenin, the highest Soviet honors. Gagarin had a lot to tell us from his rich and unique experience of the universe based on what he found while orbiting Earth.
Here we will be taking a look at some of the most famous or popular Yuri Gagarin quotes to see if some of them inspire you as much as they do us.
Yuri Gagarin on What the Earth Looks Like
“I see Earth! It is so beautiful.”
“The Earth is blue…how wonderful. It is amazing.”
“The Earth is surrounded by a characteristic blue halo. This halo is particularly visible at the horizon.”
“What an indescribable gamut of colors! Just like the paintings of the artist Nicholas Roerich.”
“I saw for the first time the Earth’s shape. I could easily see the shores of continents, islands, great rivers, folds of the terrain, large bodies of water. The horizon is dark blue, smoothly turning to black…the feelings which filled me I can express with one word – joy.”
“When I orbited the Earth in a spaceship, I saw for the first time how beautiful our planet is. Mankind, let us preserve and increase this beauty, and not destroy it!”
“I looked and looked, but I didn’t see God.”
“Looking at the Earth from afar, you realize that it is too small for conflict and just large enough for cooperation. Nothing will stop us.”
Yuri Gagarin on Space Exploration
“The road to the stars is steep and dangerous. But we are not afraid…”
“Space flights cannot be stopped. It is not the work of one man or even a group of men. It is a historical process that humanity carries out in accordance with the natural laws of human development.”
“During the active portion, when the spaceship was injected into orbit, the effects of gravitation, vibration, and noise, as well as other factors of the cosmic flight, did not have any bearing on my condition.”
Yuri Gagarin on His Missions
“I could have continued to fly in space forever.”
“When they saw me in my space suit and the parachute dragging alongside as I walked, they started to back away in fear. I told them, don’t be afraid. I am a Soviet like you, who has descended from space, and I must find a telephone to call Moscow!”
“To be the first to enter the cosmos, to engage, single-handed, in an unprecedented duel with nature – could one dream of anything more?”
“I am watching the Earth. The visibility is good. I feel well and cheerful. The machine is functioning normally.”
“The path of a cosmonaut is not an easy, triumphant march to glory. You have to get to know the meaning not just of joy but also of grief before being allowed in the spacecraft cabin.”
“Our technique is very reliable, and I, as well as my comrades, scientists, engineers, and technicians, did not doubt for a minute its successful completion.”
“The transition into the Earth’s shadow took place very rapidly. Darkness comes instantly, and nothing can be seen.”
“I was in a cloud of fire rushing toward Earth.”
Who Is the Author of the Listed Quotes?
The author of the listed quotes is Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space and the Commander of the Soviet Air Force. He was born March 9, 1934, into a family of collective farm farmers. His father, Alexeï, was a carpenter, and his mother, Anna, was a milker in the village of Klouchino.
In 1954, during his fourth year in college, he enrolled in the Saratov Aviation Club and discovered his lifelong passion: to fly. His love of aviation led him to join the Air Force. Shortly after the birth of space travel with the launch of Sputnik 1, he was stationed far north with a squadron of fighters. Two years later, when Luna 3 photographed the far side of the moon, Yuri couldn’t resist the call of outer space. He made an official request to join the cosmonaut team.
In 1960, Gagarin was called before a special medical review board. Once admitted, he was invited to Moscow for further testing. Eventually, Gagarin was declared “healthy enough to rise above the stratosphere”.
Gagarin and the other new cosmonauts received intensive courses on theoretical subjects, underwent training in model spaceships, isolation chambers, centrifuges, weightless training aboard planes, and performed parachute jumps. As the Vostok tests progressed in 1960, six cosmonauts were selected for further preparatory training for the first manned flight, and Gagarin was one of them.
Once the Vostok tests were completed, it was decided on April 3, 1961, to launch the first manned Vostok. Yuri Gagarin and the five other cosmonauts left the launch site on April 5. On April 10, Gagarin was chosen to lead the Vostok in space first. He wrote to his wife Valentina, “Just imagine, the ordinary man that I am, being given a task of national importance.”
On the morning of April 12, 1961, Gagarin was strapped in the passenger seat of the Vostok at 9:07 am Moscow time. The 20 thrust cones of the Vostok accelerator began to roar, and Gagarin made history as the first man in space.
Sadly, he became the victim of a plane crash (accidental) at the age of 34.
The death of Yuri Gagarin shocked the Soviet Union. The national shock was comparable to that which the Americans felt during the assassination of John Kennedy. Gagarin was buried in the Kremlin, the sanctuary of Soviet heroes.
Yuri Gagarin left a mark in space and has inspired many other cosmonauts. His experience of space, flying, and seeing Earth from space gave another dimension to the beauty of planet Earth. He told us what space looks like and how an aspiring astronaut can visualize the journey.