Twenty Myths About Gagarin's Spaceflight

Fifty years after the first manned orbital flight, rumors persist

7 min read
Twenty Myths About Gagarin's Spaceflight

11 April 2011—Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the first human in space—the Russian pilot Yuri Gagarin. All monumental human events attract myths, but this one especially so, as there was deep secrecy around so many fundamental aspects of the mission, and the hero died young under mysterious conditions. While we might hope for clarity in hindsight, the persistence of these popular myths makes it difficult. But one fundamental fact about Gagarin prevails and continues to resound through our culture: He was the first human who went into space—and that will always be the truth.

1. Vostok means "east" in Russian and was picked to signify dominance over the West.

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Top Tech 2023: A Special Report

These two dozen technical projects should make significant advances in the coming year

2 min read
Top Tech 2023: A Special Report
Edmon DeHaro

Each January, the editors of IEEE Spectrum offer up some predictions about technical developments we expect to be in the news over the coming year. You’ll find a couple dozen of those described in the following special report. Of course, the number of things we could have written about is far higher, so we had to be selective in picking which projects to feature. And we’re not ashamed to admit, gee-whiz appeal often shaped our choices.

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