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On the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight to outer space

On the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight to outer space


On 20 April 2021, the Embassy of Russia in South Africa held a commemorative function dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s legendary feat.

On 12 April 1961, a Soviet citizen, 27-year-old Yuri Gagarin aboard the spacecraft Vostok-1 blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and orbited Earth for the first time in history. To honour this event, the 65th session of the UNGA established the International Day of Human Space Flight to be celebrated on 12 April.

Participants of the function including the representatives of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, the Government Communications and Information System, business community and mass media, were welcomed by Ambassador of Russia to South Africa H.E. Mr. Ilya Rogachev. Addressing the guests, the head of the Russian Embassy noted: “Yuri Gagarin’s flight lasted 108 minutes – these were 108 minutes that changed the world forever. By proving that it was humanly possible to travel to outer space, Yuri Gagarin paved the way to space exploration as we know it today. The journey of the first woman to space, the first spacewalk, launch of space stations – all of this became possible due to Yuri Gagarin’s success. Gagarin didn’t just write his name in history, he turned a whole new page of it.”

H.E. Ambassador I.Rogachev congratulated the winner of the online quiz held by the Embassy – South African journalist Mr.Joe Mhlanga who answered correctly all 12 questions of the quiz on the history of space exploration in the shortest amount of time.

The function concluded with the screening of Russian movie ”The Spacewalker” a.k.a. “Age of Pioneers” (2017) telling of the first spacewalk in the history of mankind. Alexey Leonov himself, the Soviet cosmonaut who performed this feat in 1965, was the consultant for the movie.

The Embassy of Russia in South Africa extends gratitude to film company “Bazelevs” which provided the film for the screening.






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