Yuri’s Night

April 10, 2013 | 6:00 am
David Wright
Former contributor

Every year on April 12, people around the globe gather to celebrate the anniversary of the launch of the first person to orbit the Earth, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

The official coordinating website of the events, yurisnight.net, says:

Yuri’s Night is a global celebration of humanity’s past, present, and future in space. Yuri’s Night parties and events are held around the world every April in commemoration of April 12, 1961, the day of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned spaceflight, and April 12, 1981, the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle.

This year for the anniversary I thought I would link to my post from last October, Skydiving from a Reentering Spaceship, which describes the death-defying way Gagarin and his fellow astronauts—including the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova—returned to Earth at the end of their flights.

You can’t make this stuff up.