Saturday, 12 April 2014

International Day of Human Space Flight

On 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin carried out the first human space flight. The United Nations express their conviction that promoting exploration is of common interest of mankind:

"I am confident that the International Day of Human Space Flight will remind us of our common humanity and our need to work together to conquer shared challenges. I hope it will also inspire young people in particular to pursue their dreams and move the world towards new frontiers of knowledge and understanding."
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 

When the two competing "space nations" started including astronauts from their respective allies, space exploration gradually took on a multinational and multicultural character. One national space agency became the so-called host, the crewmembers became guests and were treated as guests. This "guest status" also meant being a minority among a majority - which again decreased satisfaction and increased frustration as long as it was not dealt with adequately (Suedfeld et al., 2011).

And now some music from outer space: The Swedish band The Spotnicks with Rocket Man (1962).

Suedfeld, P., Wilk, K. E. & Cassel, L. (2011) Flying with Strangers: Postmission Reflections of Multinational Space Crews, in Vakoch, D. A. (ed.) Psychology of Space Exploration. Contemporary Research in Historical Perspective. The NASA History Series, Washington DC

Photos by Weegee (Arthur Fellig, 1899-1968) (probably taken in 1955) via and via