12 April: International Day of Human Space Flight
International Day of Human Space Flight was observed on 12 April 2017. The day is an annual celebration of the anniversary of the first human space flight undertaken by Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet citizen.
Yuri Gagarin carried out Vostok 1 space flight on 12 April 1961, making one orbit around the Earth over 108 minutes in the Vostok 3KA spacecraft. The spacecraft was launched by Vostok-K launch vehicle. This historic event opened the way for space exploration for the benefit of all humanity.
The day is also observed as the Cosmonautics Day in Russia and some other countries.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) through its resolution A/RES/65/271 on 7 April 2011 during its 65th session proclaimed that International Day of Human Space Flight will be observed annually on 12 April.
In its proclamation, the general assembly said, “The day will be celebrated at the international level to reaffirm the important contribution of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and increasing the well-being of States and peoples. It said that the day will help in ensuring the realisation of their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.”
On 4 October 1957 the first human-made Earth satellite Sputnik I was launched into outer space, thus opening the way for space exploration. On 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth, opening a new chapter of human endeavour in outer space.
First in the space
• 12 April 1961: Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth.
• 16 June 1963: Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to orbit the Earth.
• 20 July 1969: Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the surface of the Moon.
• 17 July 1975: Docking of Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft in space was the First international human mission to space.
• 1984: Rakesh Sharma, the former Indian Air Force pilot, became the first person of Indian origin to travel in space. He slew in the space aboard Soyuz t-11, which was launched on 2 April 1984. He flew as part of the Intercosmos programme.
• 1997: Kalpana Chawla, an Indian American astronaut, became the first woman of Indian origin to be in space.