I don’t know what it’s like in your part of the world but, over here in the UK, the media’s going nuts for Yuri Gargarin’s 50th anniversary.
Pretty much every newspaper I pick up these days has an article about Gagarin – I saw a two page Gagarin spread in the Sun yesterday, plus news of a Gagarin statue that will be erected in the Mall in London.
The BBC’s also got plenty of plans to mark the half-centenary (is there a proper word for half-centenary, by the way?). Sunday will see the showing of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”, a Storyville documentary about (in the BBC’s words) “shows how the Russian space programme was kick-started by a mystic who taught that science would make us immortal, and carried forward by a scientist who believed that we should evolve into super-humans who could leave our overcrowded planet to colonise the universe.” The film is by George Carey and Teresa Cherfas, the team behind 2009’s Tunguska documentary.
On Monday BBC Radio 4 will even be airing a radio play about Gagarin’s first space flight – Titanium follows the story of Gagarin and his understudy Gherman Titov from their preparation for the flight to the aftermath.
I think a lot of the interest in the UK has to be down to the promotion efforts of the team behind yurigagarin50.org. As well as their really informative website, they’ve got a great Yuri Gagarin twitter feed. They’ve got a lot of events planned for the big anniversary day on Tuesday, including a mass rocket launch, a walk along the South Bank, a lecture, and a special screening of the First Orbit film.
I’m curious – how is the anniversary of Gagarin’s first space flight being celebrated in your part of the world?