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April 12, 1961 – In Orbit

April 12, 2011

On 12 April 1961, aboard the Vostok 3KA-3 (Vostok 1), Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became both the first human to travel into space, and the first to orbit the earth.  InnOrbit celebrate the day!

Notable Space events in 1961 (Link)

  • In January, a chimpanzee named Ham is rocketed into space in Mercury-Redstone 2.
  • NASA and the AEC request proposals from industry for the development of NERVA, nuclear engine for rocket vehicle application.
  • The Soviet Union flies the first staged-combustion rocket engine.
  • Yuri A. Gagarin becomes the first human to fly in space, completing one orbit of the Earth in his Vostok 1 spacecraft on April 12.
  • Alan B. Shepard Jr. becomes the first American in space by completing a sub-orbital flight in Mercury-Redstone 3 on May 5.
  • The Soviet Union’s Venera 1 probe passes within 100,000 kilometers of Venus but fails before encounter; first space probe to be launched from Earth orbit.
  • President Kennedy commits the United States to the goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.
  • The U.S. Navy launches Transit 4A, the first satellite using a plutonium-powered radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG).
  • A complete F-1 prototype engine begins static firings.
  • Gherman Titov, in Vostok 2, completes the first manned flight of over 24 hours duration.
  • The U.S. tests the first of its Ranger series of unmanned lunar probes; fails to leave Earth orbit.
  • In November, a chimpanzee named Enos orbits the Earth in Mercury-Atlas 5.
  • Yuri Gagarin was also known at the time for his short stature (5 ft. 2″ – 1.57 m) and engaging smile “that lit up the Cold War” but he will be remembered forever as the the first human to journey into outer space.

    In 2010 & 2011 InnOrbit have been developing  new products and we hope we can use these as a launch pad for future success!

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