Thursday, March 27, 2008

Yuri Gagarin's Time Cut Short on Space

Flying in space posed no risks for Yuri Gagarin, the first man to orbit the Earth. Yet a ride in a fighter plane would lead to his death on this day in 1968. Even four decades later, we're still unsure what led to the crash and to Gagarin's death.

Soviet officials made no official announcement as to the cause of the crash and all the details of the accident were archived and marked "Top Secret." On Thursday, a Russian Air Force official rejected suggestions that a new probe should be launched into Gagarin's death, saying: "No additional investigation is necessary." The Kremlin also turned down an appeal for the case to be reopened in 2007.

However, despite top-level reluctance to look into the causes of the accident, even during Soviet times there were whispers and rumors that the cosmonaut's death was due to something more than a routine training flight gone wrong. Although Gagarin was in the process of retraining as a fighter pilot when his plane went down, both he and his instructor, Vladimir Seryoghin, were hugely experienced pilots.
Because of this important experience factor, many theories have surfaced. Some say it's a machinery failure stemming from the afterburners of a passing jet. Others claim it was an order of deliberate sabotage by a jealous Soviet leader.

And then there are the really far-fetched ones. Aliens. And some say it was all a cover-up to misleading propaganda; these were efforts to cover up that Gagarin never made it to space.

We think it was the poor weather conditions that did Gagarin in. It doesn't rain in Space the way it does in Spain.

[RIA Novosti]

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