Conference at RAeS: Yuri Gagarin's legacy

Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Gagarin on his way to the launch pad
11 March 2011

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Yuri Gagarin flight on 12 April, the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) is hosting a conference 'Yuri Gagarin's legacy - 50 years on' on 16 March.

On 12 April 1961, Vostok 1 lifted off from the Soviet Cosmodrome in Baikonur with cosmonaut Major Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin on board. Gagarin was the first human being to leave the Earth’s atmosphere, and although his flight was to last only 1 hour 48 minutes, circling the Earth just once, it provoked important political, social, cultural and technical changes, and changed humanity’s perspective of its place on Earth forever.

The 50th anniversary of this flight provides an opportunity for a conference combining elements of historical review, assessment of the social and cultural impact of the event in the UK, Russia, and worldwide, and consideration of areas of scientific endeavour of common interest to both Russia and the West. The anniversary occurs as the long term objectives and strategy for human spaceflight are being questioned in both Russia and the West, making this an appropriate moment to revisit that first flight.

Programme highlights

The launch of Vostok 1
The launch of Vostok 1 at Baikonur

The one-day conference will have significant Russian involvement with presentations by Roscosmos speakers, a talk by cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, former ISS commander and one of the first public appearances by the Russian ambassador to Britain, Alexander Yakovenko.

The aims of the conference include reviewing the impact of Gagarin’s flight on space technology and space applications; assessing its social, cultural and political impact and discussing the legacy of Gagarin in the context of today’s space programmes, in the UK and worldwide.

Venue and registration

Royal Aeronautical Society Headquarters
4 Hamilton Place
London W1J 7BQ

Times: 8:30 - 18:00 followed by an evening reception.

If you would like to attend this one-day conference, please register on the RAeS website (see related link opposite).

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