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Today is International Human Travel Day…

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Today is International Human Travel Day…

A few days after Elon Musk’s outburst, according to which we could organize our stays on Mars within twenty years, the International Day of Human Space Travel is celebrated.

In fact, today, like every 12th April since 2011, is the International Day of Human Space Flightan anniversary complete with an official page on the United Nations website.

In just over sixty years, from Yuri Gagarin’s feat (to which we will return) to our era, renamed space tourism, many things have really changed. In the meantime, let’s see what International Human Space Travel Day is, and why it is celebrated on April 12th.

International Day of Human Space Travel

International Human Space Travel Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 7 April 2011.. Wanted and made official in record time, because it was celebrated for the first time five days after its institution, on 12 April of the same year.

The reason for the anniversary is expressed on the official website. “To celebrate every year at an international level the beginning of the space age for humanity, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology to the achievement of sustainable development goals and the increase in the well-being of States and peoples , as well as ensuring the realization of their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.”

Why April 12th

The date of April 12 is not at all random: on that day in 1961, Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin made the first human space flight.

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Gagarin, aboard the Vostok 1 space capsule, completed an orbital flight in one hour and 48 minutes, arriving 320 kilometers away from Earth. His first words in space were: “I feel good. How beautiful it is.”

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A happy ending that was anything but obvious, because a few years earlier (it was November 3, 1957) the flight of Sputnik 2 had ended with the death of the dog Laika.

The same event is celebrated in Russia and several countries of the former Soviet bloc. It is Cosmonautics Dayestablished on April 9, 1962 by decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

The censorship of 2022

Among the motivations for the International Day of Human Space Travel we read a mention of the “aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.”

On the United Nations website we also read that Gagarin’s pioneering flight “paved the way for space exploration for the benefit of all humanity.”

Yet, as we know, conflicts divide people to the point of producing irrational phenomena such as those under the banner of the so-called cancel culture.

And so in 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Gagarin’s name was removed from the Space Symposium, event organized by the Space Foundation from 4 to 7 April. Whose name is passed by Yuri’s night to neutral A celebration of space: discover what’s next.

Let’s not forget that in those confusing days Paolo Nori was (initially) prevented from teaching a course on Fyodor Dostoevsky at Bicocca University.

Three fundamental stages

The era of human spaceflight, inaugurated by Yuri Gagarin, boasts at least three fundamental stages.

The first is the date of 16 June 1963, when a woman, the Russian Valentina Tereshkova, crossed the Earth’s atmosphere for the first time. We then move on to July 20, 1969, when the American Neil Armstrong touched the lunar surface. And finally we remember July 17, 1975, when the anchoring took place between two spacecraft orbiting the Earth, the American Apollo and the Russian Soyuz.

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The future of space exploration

Many agree that the future of space travel will increasingly be a private matter. For Jeff Besoz and Elon Musk, as well as other multi-billionaires, the idea of ​​colonizing other planets honestly seems more like a narcissistic impulse than a humanitarian one.

The hope is that there is no waste of money to allow a few ultra-rich people to have a spritz on Mars. We must remain firm in the belief that the exploration of other planets must have as its primary objective that of our scientific progress.

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