Every year, on April 12, Russia celebrates Cosmonautics Day. The holiday was set up to honor the first manned flight into space – it was made by Yuri Gagarin in 1961. This achievement of the Soviet cosmonaut can be considered a real record, as he was the first to experience a flight beyond Earth and proved by his own example that the study of space is a completely feasible task. From that day on, scientists began to actively venture into outer space, and ten years later they were able to set foot on the surface of the moon. For more than half a century, cosmonauts and astronauts from different countries have set a number of different space-related records. Some have been in outer space for a record long time, others have done the most number of space travel and so on. In the context of this article, I propose to recall some of the most famous space explorers and find out what records they set.
First man in outer space
During his first flight into space, Yuri Gagarin was inside the Vostok-1 spacecraft. But the first person to go into space was Alexei Leonov. As part of the flight on March 18, 1965, he flew with pilot Pavel Belyaev into space inside the Voskhod-2 spacecraft. As a co-pilot, cosmonaut Alexei Leonov went into space and moved away from the ship by as much as 5 meters. In total, his stay under such unusual conditions lasted for 12 minutes. After returning to Earth, he gave one of the shortest reports in the history of astronautics:
You can live and work in outer space.
Longest stay in space
The record for the longest flight into space is constantly updated. At the moment, it belongs to the Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who flew into space 5 times and spent a total of 878 days 11 hours 29 minutes there. Throughout his career, he goes out into the open ten times, the total length of the exits is 38 hours and 26 minutes.
The longest spaceflight
Today, astronauts and astronauts usually fly to the International Space Station, which is located at an altitude of about 400 kilometers. But during the second half of the 20th century, pilots had to fly far beyond the Earth’s orbit. So in April 1970, the crew of the Apollo 13 mission flew over the far side of the moon, that is, they flew at a distance of 400,171 kilometers from Earth. It is noteworthy that once out of sight, the ship lost contact with the Mission Control Center. At this time, astronauts James Lovell, John Swigert and Fred Hayes were busy taking pictures of the far side of the moon.
Longest stay on the moon
Neil Armstrong was the first person to ascend to the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969. He and pilot Buzz Aldrin stayed there for 21 hours, 36 minutes and 21 seconds. But the record for the longest stay on the moon is held by Apollo 17 crew members Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan. During the mission, they made three walks on the moon, each lasting 22 hours 3 minutes 57 seconds. It turns out that they spent a total of 75 hours on the moon. During these walks, they collected 110.5 kilos of lunar soil and then successfully delivered them to the earth.
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The youngest person in space
Many children, especially during the Soviet era, wanted to become cosmonauts. But to fly into space, you must be an adult and healthy man or woman. So far, the youngest person to have been in space is the German Titov. In August 1961, he became the second person to fly around our planet in a spacecraft. During the 25-hour flight, he made 17 orbits around the earth. At that time, the German Titov was 25 years old.
The oldest man in space
John Glenn is the oldest man to fly into space. He made his first flight in 1962 and became the third person (after Yuri Gagarin and German Titov) to be in outer space. The historic flight was made on the Mercury-Atlas-6 spacecraft; within 4 hours and 55 minutes the astronaut circled the earth three times. After that he retired, but in 1998 he made a spaceflight again, when he was 77 years old.
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It is important to note that in this case we are talking about the oldest astronaut. And if we talk about space tourists, Wally Funk set an age record of 2021 – she went into space at the age of 82. She was accompanied by the head of Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark and student Damen. You can read more about this flight here.