Jump to content

Banner.jpg.39bf5bb2e6bf87794d3e2a4b88f26f1b.jpg

Was Gagarin really the first man in space?


blackparticle
 Share

Recommended Posts

Seeing as there isn't much going on tonight in the way of stargazing I thought I'd see if I could verify something that I was once told.

I once had a conversation with someone who had access to British Military Intelligence archives. (I'm not going to reveal names or which department for obvious reasons and will deny this as a "hoax" if ever asked. That should cover me. :)).

We were talking about conspiracy theories and they, quite enigmatically, said something along the lines of.. "If only you knew what we know."

One thing they did reveal was that "we" had video footage of the first man in space.. and it wasn't Yuri Gagarin.

So I came across this documentary on YouTube. Whether it is true or not.. Who can say?.. And it probably doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things anyway but on a miserably wet night like this, it certainly makes for an interesting watch and does contain some great footage from the early Russian space programme.

Enjoy. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 40
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

IMO.. Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space :)

He was the first human being to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961. The Russians did have a habit of covering up accidents though.. :)

Edited by Telrad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before and after Gagarin's flight the Russian space programme was an accident waiting to happen, many people died on the ground in refuelling accidents and rockets exploding on the pad, that is already fact, no reason why it did not happen in flights.

Jim

Edited by The Sailor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends where you say that "Space" begins.

Think that it is often taken to be 100Km up. Can you get to this in a balloon? Have a look up for the person that holds the record height for parachuting.

The statement "If only you knew what we know." usually means they know nothing, but it sounds as if they do. It really is as close to a universal truth as you will get. A good way to get another beer off the person it is being said to, and/or just to see how much BS can be fed to the person. Look at it this way, just saying to you is in breach of several laws and you are not unknown or untraceable. People that know these things say NOTHING EVER! Anyone who has access to what you say will say nothing at all. So I would start doubting just about everything. And I guess as quite a few here have had to do I have signed the Offical Secrets Act. Believe me you do not talk about even simple stuff.

Actually by law you should report your friends. So at this time you and them are on the wrong side of the law.

Gararin was the frst to orbit the earth, the US had many high altitude flights before him that are easily counted as being in space. Have a look up the X1 flights. Non however orbited the earth.

We probably had some high altitude flights that would also be counted as being in space. Just not what these days is accepted as space. This is how Virgin are selling their "space" flights. Up into the atmosphere but still actually in the atmosphere, just above what someone somewhere has said is the start of space.

We never had a rocket and the rest capable at that time of actually putting a man into an orbit around the planet and returning them to the surface. Them things is big and not exactly easy to hide on a small island like the UK. Saturn 5 taking off literally shook the ground for several miles around. Cannot see one taking off from anywhere not being a little noticeable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree it is plausible. The space race was deadly in the USA too, of course. But I can't imagine how the secret could be maintained in the post-Soviet era.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn, it's been mentioned, The Offical Secrets Act, best shut up now :eek: . :)

Jim

Hence why I said this is actually a "hoax" to stir up a bit of debate on such a poor astronomy evening. Is admitting to signing the OSA actually a breach of the OSA I wonder? B)

All that nonsense aside.. the documentary is actually a very good watch. Regardless of Russian attitudes to secrecy and their dubious health and safety record, they were leaps ahead in their early pioneering of space exploration and the cosmonauts involved rarely get the praise and recognition they deserved.

I'll have to see if there are any more slightly less contentious documentaries about the Russian Space Programme on there. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I signed the official secrets act long ago, for a job I subsequently didn't get, so I don't think it applies as I never got my hands on any secrets... ;-) But I do remember that one of the clauses in the act is that you are not allowed to say you've signed it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ags, you can remember one of the clauses :), I used to get people to sign it on a weekly basis and I can't even remember if I ever read it!! Anyway, the thread, seen a good prog on tv about the progress of the Russians involvement in the space race and it took a terrible toll of life to get ahead of the Septics, H&S was not on the menu and reading between the lines it was hinted that it was not enivitable that people did die in flight, wether they made it into orbit may never be known. Although the Russians are more open now, the past is still unknown to a degree.

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's safe to assume that because we don't know it, it's true. That's just silly.

I like Yuri, and he was the first into what was classified as space when he went there - therefore he was the first man in space, in my mind. Have a problem with that? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, safe, silly, whats all that about, you will be telling me next I am not allowed to say the moon is made out of cheese. This is a debate on a reasonable subject, until you get the rank of Mod please don't tell me what I can say and not say.

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just found a documentary on the Russian Space Shuttle - Buran... I didn't know they even had one. Pity it's in Russian though as I can't understand a word of it.

From what I can tell it looks more advanced than the US version. Fully automated, higher payload capacity. And they built (or at least started construction of) 5 of them as well as numerous smaller test versions. It only ever flew once.. what a shame.

I hope over the coming decade all our governments come to their senses regarding space travel. The amount of money that has been wasted designing and building space-craft, for them to then be dismantled or sit in an abandoned hanger somewhere must be staggering.

Space really isn't a place for 'secrets'.. I think it's time we realised that and moved forward as a species rather than being controlled by the military, governmental departments or organisations with hidden private agendas.

Without all the covert nature of space travel I'm sure we would be discussing the first men on Mars by now rather than wondering who was really the first man to orbit the earth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, safe, silly, whats all that about, you will be telling me next I am not allowed to say the moon is made out of cheese. This is a debate on a reasonable subject, until you get the rank of Mod please don't tell me what I can say and not say.

Jim

I never meant to cause offense, i'm sorry if i did. I was merely saying that "Yeah, he probably wasn't." has no real basis in actual evidence. The evidence suggests that he was, and in my eyes the view that "They have a habit of lying" doesn't really constitute an equal opposition to that. I'm allowed to hold that opinion, aren't i?

I've just found a documentary on the Russian Space Shuttle - Buran... I didn't know they even had one. Pity it's in Russian though as I can't understand a word of it.

From what I can tell it looks more advanced than the US version. Fully automated, higher payload capacity. And they built (or at least started construction of) 5 of them as well as numerous smaller test versions. It only ever flew once.. what a shame.

I hope over the coming decade all our governments come to their senses regarding space travel. The amount of money that has been wasted designing and building space-craft, for them to then be dismantled or sit in an abandoned hanger somewhere must be staggering.

Space really isn't a place for 'secrets'.. I think it's time we realised that and moved forward as a species rather than being controlled by the military, governmental departments or organisations with hidden private agendas.

Without all the covert nature of space travel I'm sure we would be discussing the first men on Mars by now rather than wondering who was really the first man to orbit the earth.

Aye, Buran was a nice ship. Unfortunately the powers that be (ie, the Russian government since the fall of Communism) decided that it wasn't worth the money and they could do more for less with Soyuz. They may well be right, but i don't know how Sergei Korolev would feel about that. Disappointed probably.

The real shame about Buran was it's demise. Hangar collapse? She was built, with love, to dance with the stars and she met her end because of a building falling into disrepair? That's just insulting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is another Buran that was 95% completed still gathering dust in a hanger at Baikonur. Not that it will ever fly but its there.

Sergei Korolev was mentioned quite a lot in the documentary I posted. Seems the west wanted to give him the Nobel prize after the Gagarin flight and his identity was kept secret so he never received it. That could just have been a ruse so that the Russians would reveal his identity so he could then be poached by the Americans.

But again, more secrets, more covert dealings that have held us back from space rather than helped us to explore its wonders.

Edited by blackparticle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't there part of a Buran in a car park somewhere?

I agree in principle - just imagine where we would be if we pooled our resources in the name of space exploration. But in our current, profit driven society i wouldn't be surprised if, had it not been for the cold war, we wouldn't even have been to the moon by now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to the web it's now a restaurant in Gorky Park, Moscow. If you think about it, that would be one the most expensive meals ever. (Actually.. this might be a different one)

Here is a website listing the location of all the vehicles. There is one on display at the Technik Museum in Speyer, Germany that looks in pretty good condition although I don't think it was a 'space' version as it is fitted with jet engines for atmospheric flight testing.

Location of Buran shuttles

Edited by blackparticle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks blackparticle!

For an avid student of space exploration, the documentary you posted was to me a real treat to watch. As to the controversy, I feel that this documentary is true. The only "problem" I have with this story, is why General Ilyushin won't come forward today and claim he was first in space.

But maybe as an old and proud soviet communist, he feels Gagarin's image should not be tarnished (even if untrue), as it was responsible for the greatest favorable upsurge in world opinion viz the USSR during the cold war.

Maybe he's got a posthumous announcement ready, for after his death...

What a shambles all this secrecy made of otherwise remarkable achievements

(I did'nt even know Korolev had been tagged by the Nobel commitee until watching this very good video!).

If I can find a distributor, I'm buying this DVD for my collection!

As for Buran (the soviet space shuttle), I'm still waiting for conclusive evidence that the Americans stole the design from the Soviets (they are virtually identical craft).

It might well be the other way around too.

These are great days indeed to be an amateur historian of space exploration. All these walls coming down, and many old men telling their stories, safe by the fact that their respective governments won't have them jailed for speaking out of class.

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We never had a rocket and the rest capable at that time of actually putting a man into an orbit around the planet and returning them to the surface. Them things is big and not exactly easy to hide on a small island like the UK. Saturn 5 taking off literally shook the ground for several miles around. Cannot see one taking off from anywhere not being a little noticeable.

While I agree that we (the UK) didn't, I would say that as we launched our stuff from Australia we'd not have had to have hidden it in the UK! The original plan to build our launch site on the North Norfolk coast was dropped after the development of North Sea gas platforms. It was felt to be bad form to risk dropping failed rockets on them! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mind you, all real historians know that the first people to reach the moon were the crew of the ship launched by Grand Fenwick.

(The Mouse on the Moon - for those who don't watch obscure 1960s British comedy films!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little known fact about Gagarin's flight was that he never stayed in the spacecraft till touchdown, he actually parachuted out the module before it hit the ground :). Interesting thread B)

David

Wackyscot, that's correct :eek: Yuri Gagarin was 370 miles off target and even as he landed things went wrong - he had trouble opening the air vent on his helmet and his spare parachute opened unnecessarily. The fact that Gagarin ejected and landed with a parachute, rather than remaining inside the capsule until touchdown was kept a secret. :)

Edited by Telrad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't the UK have a space project running on the Isle of Wight? I am sure I saw something on BBC2 which showed a complex where rocket engines were developed and tested. I don't think there was any ambition to launch manned craft, but I am pretty sure the Black Arrow programme went through all of the test phases on British soil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.