Date added: 04/11/2012 April 12 - International Cosmonautics Day
This holiday celbrated in the USSR and now in Russia and some contries which in past were republics of the Soeviet Union. In this day in 1961 the first manned space flight had place. It was really historical events and the USSR was the first country which could arrange that flight. The first in the world cosmonaut was made by 27 years old Yuri Gagarin. Yurin Gagarin spent in cosmic space for 1 hour and 48 minutes aboard the spacecraft Vostok (in transaltion from Russian it means 1) East, 2) sun rise). The holiday was established in the Soviet Union one year later, on April 9, 1962. Here I would like to say a couple of words about different names of the same conception in the USSR and in the USA. In the USSR (ad now in Russia) space is called cosmic that goes from Greek κόσμος (order, universe). Term "kosmos" was worked in by Ancient Greek mathematics Pythagor to dasignate harmonious order of the wordl and is antithetical to the concept of chaos. English variant of cosmos - space - looks uncertain.
Now Russians call the cosmos pilot cosmonaut while Americans (and other English speaking people) call him/her astronaut. I suppose that this is not just a matter of linguistics but matter of politics - Americanas could not accept the fact that not the USA was the first in such revolutionary spear of activity.
Yuri Gagarin became a national hero of the Soviet Union and famous all over the world. the main newspapers of the world published his biography and details of his flight. People who knew Yuri Gagarin personally tell about him as about opened heart and good natured person, be sure that this charming smile that you can see on many pictures is sincere. Gagarin perished in aircrush on March 27 1968 when he made a training flight and till this time there is no certain version of his perish.
It worth to say that before Juri Gagarin other cosmonauts went to cosmos and returned back - therw were two dogs - two mongrels by name Belka and Strelka. The flight started on August 19 1960, it lasted for 25 hours and during the flight the two brave doggies made 17 full circles around the Earth.
The Soveit Garvenment paid much attention to development of cosmonautics. In some years the first woman flighted to cosmos, her name is Valentina Tereshkova, she has active life, takes part in political events of Russia.