Who was the First Astronaut?

The idea of interplanetary travel is very old, but it is only during the past fifty years or so that astronautics have become a really practicable possibility. The Russian pioneer K.E Tsiolkovsky suggested using rockets for space research as really as 1903, since rockets function by reaction motors and do not depend on a surrounding atmospheric medium.

He also suggested liquid propellants because solid propellants were too weak and hard to control. In 1926, the first modern type liquid-propellant rocket was sent up by R.H. Goddard in America. In Germany, intensive research was undertaken, culminating in the liquid-propellant V2 rocket, which bombarded England during the Second World War.

After the war, series work on the future development of rocket travel continued in the U.S.S.R and the United States. Before the Americans were ready to send up their first orbital satellite, Sputnik 1 was sent up the from the Soviet Union.


In 1961, Russia took the world again by surprise by launching the first man into space-Yuri Gagarin, who completed a circuit of the Earth in free fall.

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