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Yuri Gagarin is not the first space pilot

Despite his honorable place in the history books, it turns out that the first space pilot Yuri Gagarin does not meet the definitions set by the Federation of Aeronautics

Yuri Gagarin in his space suit
Yuri Gagarin in his space suit

Yuri Gagarin, the first space pilot, does not meet the definitions set by the Federation of Aeronautics. According to the Federation, Chapter 2 of Code No. 8 in the field of astronautics states that a pilot must take off and land together with his instrument, a condition that Gagarin did not meet.

The first flight into space

On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin took off into space inside the Vostok-1 capsule, becoming the first person in history to reach space. Gagarin made a complete lap around the globe and landed safely on the soil of the Soviet Union. The flight made Gagarin a national hero in his country and brought great prestige to the Soviet Union for the technological achievement.

Western countries looked jealously at the technological progress of the Soviet Union, first it was the first satellite in space "Sputnik", and now the first man in space. On May 5, 1961, less than a month after Yuri Gagarin's flight, American Alan Shepard made a similar space flight in the Freedom-7 capsule, entering orbit and returning to Earth while landing in the ocean.

Who is a space pilot?

International Federation of Aeronautics and Astronautics
International Federation of Aeronautics and Astronautics

A "space pilot" with a mouth The sporting code number 8 of the International Federation of Aeronautics is a person who stayed in the vessel and performed an active role during the "flight into space".

"Flight into space" is defined as a flight that exceeds 100 kilometers (62 miles) above sea level. In the USA, a professional/military/private astronaut who flies to an altitude exceeding 80 kilometers (50 miles) receives astronaut wings. In addition to the altitude test, the aircraft must pass a number of other tests, including the orbit test, that is, to enter orbit around the Earth.

International Federation of Aeronautics (FAI) was established in 1905 and among other duties it is responsible for the standards for setting records in the field of aeronautics and astronautics. Since this is an international non-governmental body in which over 100 countries in the world are members, including Israel, its strict definition regarding "space flight" is preferred over any other definition.

Did Gagarin meet the conditions?

Yuri Gagarin flew into space, went into orbit, circled the Earth and landed in the Russian steppes. But what the world didn't know was that during the landing Gagarin ejected at 20,000 feet.

According to the definitions of the federation, the pilot must take off and land in the aircraft, if this is not done the flight will be defined as a "partial flight into space". The authorities in the USSR hid the fact that Gagarin did not meet the federation's criteria. The omission of the information gave him the coveted title and prevented unnecessary political debates with the West. If not for the Soviet deception, the coveted title would have fallen into the lap of an American pilot.

In 1968, the Federation began to award a medal of honor in the name of Yuri Gagarin, thereby entering him into the history books. Only several decades later were all the details about the problematic landing published. Although Gagarin was deleted from the federation's record books because he did not meet the criteria, his place in history was deeply rooted in human consciousness.

influence on history

Many will argue that this is a negligible record book that will not affect Gagarin's status, but the federation is an international organization and this gives it the status of a super referee, its definitions are determined by a panel of multinational judges, its decisions are enforced in all countries and the fact that it takes part in all competitions In the world in the field of aeronautics and astronautics further strengthen its position.

Many powers, and those with different interests have already proven that history can be rewritten. In the distant future, the removal of Gagarin's name from the records of astronautics could be evidence against his achievement.

26 תגובות

  1. "In addition to the altitude test, the aircraft must pass a number of other tests, including the orbit test, that is, to enter orbit around the Earth"

    This is an interesting point - which means that even Alan Shepard's flight would not have been considered a "space flight" according to this criterion, because unlike Yuri Gagarin, Alan Shepard did not go into orbit around the Earth.
    Shepard's flight is considered a Sub-Orbital Flight.

    So according to your claim - both are invalid.
    But overall, no one cares.
    They were in space, period. Whoever was first, was first.

  2. Those who discovered America were nomads who arrived there perhaps 50,000 years ago. The people of this period also discovered Australia, and not Cook...

  3. Alhadad
    There are rumors that the Vikings arrived in America before Amerigo... you know..
    What is known is that the winners write history, and the losers always try to rewrite it.

  4. Say what are you worse than that, ejected from a height of 20,000 feet, come on, I'll push off a 6-story roof, which is thousands of meters less, and we'll see if you survive

  5. Or (response 4), to your question, who was the real first space pilot? It was noted in the article that within less than a month of Gagarin's flight, the American Alan Shepherd was launched into space.

  6. I have heard of cases and rumors that existed in Gagarin's time about "radio enthusiasts" who heard evidence of Russian cosmonaut launches before Gagarin that did not return and were lost in space that the Soviets were unable to retrieve

    Can anyone answer this for me?

  7. Or Barkat wrote in response 7

    In other words, Columbus is perhaps the first person from the dominant culture to reach America

    And here is the point. Gagarin is not from the dominant culture, he belongs to the lost culture. The people of the Federation, obviously, are part of the dominant culture. What is interesting here is how there is a (renewed) relegation of Gagarin from consciousness as "first", that is, a reaction.
    And the whole debate is about who was first...

  8. Publicly he was the first and there is nothing to do. All settings changes will not cancel his flight.
    Beyond the personal achievement of Yuri who risked his life without any knowledge of what he was getting into, there is no worldly achievement in his act. On the contrary!
    It is now clear that the entire mission was facing failure without any ground control intervention capability. It was essentially a "successful" exercise that succeeded. No real achievement was demonstrated here, these are basic motor skills that were already here since the days of Nazi rule and even before it.
    But to think that for this achievement more than 200 million Russians suffered for decades from a poor life without freedom, it already dwarfs and cancels the achievement. To think that in order to fly him on top of a rocket (literally) all the economic capabilities were taken from the Russian people to finance it. So this is an unequal and repulsive achievement. For me, there is only Yuri's courage and nothing more. In retrospect, we saw how the Russian cocoon collapsed on his country after several years. Later it also became clear that there was no real breakthrough here, but more of a publicity one. The Russians were not able to repeat this success and were not in the same direction as the Americans in landing and returning from the moon. The Russians discovered already then that one headline in the media is better...than everything.

  9. Arye Seter and Sabdarmish Yehuda are right.

    There is a very high probability, from my knowledge of the Soviet mechanisms, that Gagarin was probably not the first man in space. There are several testimonies that stubbornly claim that there were several cosmonauts before him who lost their lives and remained unknown. He was the first to return alive from the mission.

    The whole matter of redefining, just as they did with Pluto, was created and cloaked as if it were scientific, but behind them are other motives - mainly political.

    Therefore... leave you from the definitions. Not everything has to be politically correct. As Hezi said, the first to fly is the first to be there (be it Gagarin or another before him). The political terms will be forgotten in the future - they are temporary and change with the government and fashion. The facts are eternal.

    Hanan Sabat

  10. The first space explorer was Jeremy, the son of Dr. Lechlan McKinnon's sister. Long live Solbag! Long live Asa! Long live the Sikos!

  11. As another suggestion for the definition:

    A combination of the release coefficient (the distance of the orbit) from the Earth's gravity and orbiting it at least once.

  12. I would suggest to Yuri Gagarin to retrain in a field where his professional training and his contribution to the industry will be appreciated a little more. For example, maybe there will be a warehouse. or Manofai. It is quite easy to obtain a professional certificate from the Ministry of Labor and the renewal costs pennies.

  13. Hezi - but Columbus really did not discover America. Even if we ignore the fact that he thought he arrived in India (that's why America is called America) then there is the fact that the Vikings got him (not to mention the Indians themselves who also got them quite a long time ago when they passed Bering).

    In other words, Columbus is perhaps the first person from the dominant culture to reach America.

    I also do not agree if the argument that the criteria are not important but an amorphous thing called logic is the important one.

  14. I agree with Sabdarmish.

    In the same way that Gagarin was not the first space pilot, it could be argued that Columbus did not discover America (his foot did not land on the continent), and Magellan was not the first to circle the world (he died on the way). In the end, an unknown criterion of an unknown association is of no importance, but simple logic dictates - the first to fly into space is the first space pilot (simply not?)

  15. Sabdarmish
    Pluto ceased to be considered among the planets because a body was discovered that orbits the Earth and is larger than Pluto (and further away from it). So if that one isn't a planet, then neither is Pluto.
    Besides you are right. Gagarin is not defined, as we learned here, as a space pilot, but he is the first to reach space (and returned alive - because I think there was a previous manned launch that failed and the pilot perished - can anyone confirm this?).

  16. If you enter the link I gave, you will see a closed list of rules and definitions set by the federation. Many of the rules have a certain logic. I will explain the logic in the follow-up article, and give more examples.

  17. Why does this remind me of the case of Pluto?
    There, too, whoever decided on a stupid law/rule decided and Pluto lost its important astronomical place.
    In my humble opinion, a space pilot is someone who reached an altitude of at least a hundred kilometers, period. Landed or not, it really doesn't matter.
    I wonder what the "experts" will say about Ilan Ramon and his six friends from Colombia?
    Their landing, as we know, did not go as planned.

    Besides, it's a shame that Chelsea lost in the Champions League final.

    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  18. What is at the heart of the business is simply an inappropriate image that was used to set the terms. Flying into space is not similar to flying in an airplane, after all it can be said that there are no space pilots at all because everyone who flew into space came back in a fall with a tool that is a small part of the tool that took off...

    It can be phrased in a somewhat absurd way: Gagarin arrived in space in a "flight" but did not fly back, does that mean there was no flight? So what would have happened if he had stayed in space?

    So maybe Lindbergh's flight doesn't count either? I'm guessing that Lindbergh didn't fly back solo without was a crazy risk. He probably came back on the ship with a lot of champagne in ice buckets...

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