Gagarin event ends with fireworks display in Moscow

April 13th, 2011 - 11:12 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, April 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Yury Gagarin’s 108-minute journey into space concluded Tuesday evening in Moscow with coordinated fireworks display across the capital.

The massive salute to the Soviet hero involved sending up 50 fireworks at 13 locations, including Sparrow Hills overlooking the centre of the city.

The celebrations were ordered by President Dmitry Medvedev.

All the fireworks were made in Russia, a spokesperson added.

The first manned spaceflight took place April 12, 1961, when Gagarin blasted off from Baikonur in Vostok spacecraft. He parachuted to earth less than two hours later in Russia’s Saratov region.

Events marking the anniversary were held in Baikonur and Saratov, as well as other Russian cities and 70 countries around the world.

Earlier, hailing Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space 50 years ago as a “symbolic” and “revolutionary” event, Medvedev said his country still dreams about “conquering” other planets and flying to distant stars.

The first manned flight in space remains a landmark for mankind, he said in an interview with China Central Television.

“I believe it was a truly revolutionary event, a highly symbolic one. It was a tremendous achievement of Soviet cosmonautics, which divided the world into ‘before’ and ‘after’ the flight what has been termed the ’space era’,” Medvedev said.

“I am proud of the fact that it was my country that made this first step,” he said.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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