Hooray for coming second!

by | Feb 3, 2008 | Satellites | 0 comments

So last Thursday, the 31st January, was the 50th anniversary of the US coming second in the race to space and according to this some people want to recreate the other space event American came second in, putting a man in space – well best of luck with that

Over at Mars blog Thomas James has a think about an RIA Novosti report of a Russian space programme veteran’s apparent revelation that Gagarin was not the first man in space. But the report just seems to be a re-hash of this 2001 Pravda report to me

When I was in Russia in 2005 I asked about the theories that Gagarin was not the first man in space. It is not a question the Russians like to hear. I was talking to a lecturer of the Moscow Bauman State University and he denied any suggestion that Gagarin was not the fist man to orbit the Earth but he was open to the idea that there may have been suborbital flights before Yuri

“So who cares what a university lecturer says?”, you may ask. Well, Victor, that was his name, worked with the Russian Federal Space Agency – acting as a translator in astronaut training on Russian systems – and what many outsiders do not know about Moscow Bauman is that it has had a central part to play in the training of engineers for the Russian space programme since day one

If you go to wikipedia you can find information on the many theories about cosmonauts preceding Gagarin but I would take it all with a pinch of salt. I am going to Kazakhstan in April with ESA for the launch of the second Galileo satellite navigation system test spacecraft, GIOVE-B, and I will be putting questions to the Russians about their 1950s suborbital manned programme then

What historians will know in the future is that Rocketplane-Kistler did not play a role in NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) programnme after October 2007, with the US government’s Government Accountability Office’s rejection of RpK’s protest against NASA’s termination of its funded space act agreement

I can’t say I am surprised. But as I have already said, who wins the $175 million left after RpK’s departure is pretty superfluous

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