Yesterday was a very special day. It not only marked the 50th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight which saw Yuri Gagarin, the Russian cosmonaut, orbit the earth in Vostok 1, but also the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle launch. NASA didn’t plan for the the first shuttle to take off exactly 20 years after Yuri’s flight, but as fate would have it, the mission was delayed a few days and lifted of on 12th April 1981.
Being the 50th anniversary, lots of Yuri’s Night events were planned all around the world and Spacevidcast, with bubbly hosts Cariann and Benjamin Higginbotham were dipping into parties during their special live broadcast.
I was that the London event – hosted by Matt Brown (Editor, Londonist) and Helen Keen (of Radio 4 rocket science show fame) – which was a mix of space science, quiz questions and comedians. Oh, and me. I did a little talk about how I’d like to get to space. I was nervous, and haven’t dared listen back to it yet, but here it is in case you’d like to hear it.
The evening was a lot of fun, and I was heartened to see that we could pack out a venue in the name of spaceflight. It gives me the prod to get back to thinking about how I’m going to do SpaceUp UK. Let me know if you’re interested in helping out, or are a spacey type person who might be interested coming when I finally put it on.
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