© Sputnik / Roscosmos Russia to Launch Robot Assistant to ISS in 2020 – Roscosmos MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On the same day, the world is celebrating the International Day of Human Space Flight. On April 12, 1961, a booster rocket took into orbit the Vostok spacecraft with the first cosmonaut on board — Soviet citizen Yuri Gagarin. Having travelled around the Earth once, the reentry module landed on the territory of the Soviet Union. At an altitude of several miles from the surface of the Earth, Gagarin ejected with a parachute and landed on a field near the Volga River outside the village of Smelovka in Russia’s Saratov Region, at 10:55 a.m. Moscow time. The flight lasted 108 minutes. Sergei Korolev, Anatoly Kirillov and Leonid Voskresensky controlled the world’s first manned spacecraft flight. This historic event paved the way for space exploration for the benefit of humankind. New opportunities for that opened up in 2000, when the International Space Station (ISS), which is a joint international project involving 15 countries, welcomed its first crew. Two mission control centers, one in the town of Korolev outside Moscow and the other in Houston, Texas, control its flight around the clock. Over time, the ISS has become a vast near-Earth laboratory. Over 500 people from nearly 40 countries have been in the outer space since Gagarin's flight. © AFP 2021 / PATRICK KOVARIK Russian… Read full this story
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