'Poyekhali!' Remembering Our First Space Voyager (Part 1)

Clad in his orange space suit, Yuri Gagain appears pensive in this image recorded during his journey to the launch pad on 12 April 1961. Photo Credit: Roscomos

In the early hours of 11 April 1961—more than five decades ago—an enormous booster trundled humanity’s first manned spacecraft to its launch site in a […]

'On the Edge': The Legacy of Valentina Tereshkova

By the summer of 1963, the Soviets had launched the world’s first man in space (Yuri Gagarin) and its first woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova). For an image-conscious Soviet leadership, these achievements were exploited for the political advantages which they afforded. Photo Credit: Roscosmos

It is a quirk of historical coincidence that both […]

'The Common Touch': Selecting the First Woman Cosmonaut

Right from the start, the training of Russia’s first female cosmonauts was as alien as the environment in which one of them would operate. Although all had flying or parachuting experience, the closeted military world of the cosmonaut team came as a huge cultural shock to them. Photo Credit: Roscosmos

Fifty years ago […]