Happy Birthday Yuri. It is your 77th birthday.
Klushino is a small village in Russia, hardly known to anyone. But it has rocketed into world fame thanks mainly to one person---Yuri Gagarin who was born in this village. The first man to fly into space was born here on March 9, 1934 and since then space enthusiasts from all over the world have been flocking to this village and visit the house where Yuri was born which has turned into a Yuri Gagarin museum. ``Beyond Moon and Mars (BMM)'' hopes that one day it will get an opportunity to visit the village which now seems a distant dream.
Each year the day comes and goes and the fact that it is the birthday of the world's first spaceman has gone unnoticed. But, this year BMM thought there would be some event at the Russian Embassy and the Russian consulate general to celebrate his birthday since in a few days programmes relating to the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight would begin. But, this has not happened.
On April 12,2011, there will be events to mark the 50th anniv of the world's first human space flight which eight years later led to a manned lunar landing, triggering a debate between the advantages and disadvantages of manned and unmanned spaceflight..
BMM hopes to celebrate Yuri's birthday at a gentleman's house in Cuffe Parade who says that he had the opportunity to meet Yuri when he visited Mumbai in October 1961. BMM hopes that the meeting will be useful and productive because it hopes to use the material for a blog and a possible report in The Times of India next month.
Once again happy birthday Yuri.
Another important space event is set to take place today. Later tonight the space shuttle Discovery will return and pass into history. After this there will be no more flights for Discovery. For this shuttle the curtains will drop around midnight (IST)
A happy landing, weather permitting of course, and good wishes on your retirement.