Russia releases Gagarin's secret last words

Apr 10, 2011 by Dmitry Zaks
First cosmonaut in history Yuri Gagarin, pictured saluting the crowd upon his arrival in London, in July 1961 during an official visit to the UK. One of the last things Yuri Gagarin did before making his pioneering voyage into space 50 years ago was make sure he had enough sausage to last him on the trip back home to Moscow, archives have revealed.

One of the last things Yuri Gagarin did before making his pioneering voyage into space 50 years ago was make sure he had enough sausage to last him on the trip back home to Moscow.

This tidbit was among more than 700 pages of once-secret material linked to the life and times of the world's first spaceman that were released by Russia ahead of the April 12 anniversary.

The historic space shot turned Gagarin into an instant celebrity whose boyish charms became a powerful propaganda weapon for the Soviet Union as it scrambled to win its ideological battle against the United States during the Cold War.

His boy-next-door grin and outsized helmet became a staple of Soviet stamps while his heroism turned into a subject of elementary school literature that became comparable to the teachings of Lenin.

Russian authorities -- with their own space programme in trouble -- have grabbed on to that glory by making the Gagarin celebrations into a national event stretching from the halls of the Kremlin to the .

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is planning a visit to the mission control centre outside Moscow while his mentor and predecessor Vladimir Putin will hold his own meeting with Russian and Ukrainian cosmonauts in Ukraine.

But making the biggest news among Russians this weekend were files revealing the conversation Gagarin had while strapped into his capsule with chief rocket designer Sergei Korolyov -- a man who became a legend in his own right.

Gagarin is best remembered by a generation of Russian for pronouncing "Poyekhali!" as his Vostok spacecraft lifted off the ground.

The phrase can be translated as either "Let's Go!" or "We're Off!" and is now a regular part of the Russian lexicon.

But the Russian Internet was abuzz with what Gagarin said moments before his famous catchphrase.

One of Korolyov's biggest worries appeared to be that the would-be hero had enough to eat once he touched down on Earth.

"There in the flap you have dinner, supper and breakfast," the father of the Soviet rocket programme told Gagarin by radio as the clock ticked down.

"Got it," Gagarin replied in comments originally posted on the lifenews.ru website.

"You've got sausage, candy and jam to go with the tea," Korolyov went on. "Sixty-three pieces -- you'll get fat! When you get back today, eat everything right away."

Gagarin joked back: "The main thing is that there is sausage -- to go with the moonshine."

Korolyov appeared to take the joke in stride.

"Damn. This thing is recording everything, the bastard," the scientist said in reference to the relay recorders.

The website also published a photograph of the original faded sheet on which the conversation is transcribed.

Detailed description of the Soviet spacecraft Vostok 1 which carried the first man into space 50 years ago

Lifenews.ru added that Gagarin appeared to be singing and whistling to himself while mission control continued conducting various last-minute checks.

Not all of them went smoothly.

Gagarin at one point is told to rip off some adhesive tape and adjust a piece of equipment because "we forgot to tape that thing".

He is later told that access hatch would have to be readjusted because "one of the contacts failed to light up" on the mission control panel.

Gagarin appeared to take everything in stride and began happily reporting all he saw once his spacecraft was finally aloft.

Various historians noted that one of the Soviet officials' biggest fears was that their would lose consciousness once he became weightless.

"The sensation of weightlessness feels nice," Gagarin reported to ground control at one point. "Everything is swimming."

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twango
5 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2011
"Secret last words"??? Totally misleading headline. Thought this was a science news site, not People magazine.
mjesfahani
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
At the time in which the Americans had a technology to mix the videos russians had explored the moon!
whalio
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
"Russian authorities -- with their own space programme in trouble --....."

Yeah as if the American space program is doing just great. After all, this year is the last for the shuttle with no new vehicle in sight. Thank god for the Russians, the ESA, and private space corporations.
Alburton
5 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
We salute you,Yuri Gagarin,Cosmos' human pioneer!
Galzu
5 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
what a poorly written article --
the russian space program is in trouble ??? and how is their program in trouble ???
tkjtkj
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
The anti-Russian bias in this article is disgusting.

Is physorg now into politics?

I'm ready to cancel my membership here .. it won't take much more ..

mfritz0
1 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2011
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I suspect the reason the U.S. has no replacement for the space shuttle is because secretly they do. Recent sightings of triangular shaped Unidentified aerial phenomenon are on the rise, very similar to the increase in the sightings of the F114 Stealth Fighter years ago. The new craft is probably designated TR3B-Astra or similar. Pictures follow: http://www.google...;bih=603

As you can see, they really are not trying to hide this as a secret anymore. It's just that this new spacecraft is so advanced it is going to take a long time for the world population so not be afraid when they see one of these craft floating overhead.
J-n
5 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2011
It's just that this new spacecraft is so advanced it is going to take a long time for the world population so not be afraid when they see one of these craft floating overhead.


That seems like a load of bull. I mean, who in their right mind would be AFRAID of an airship that is in the shape of a triangle? Seriously.

Can you picture yourself cowering in the corner of your kitchen because you saw the new stealth bomber at the airshow?
mrcircumspect
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
tkitki --
What Russian bias? It's not science news, but what bias. Shows his gregarious humanity and some details of the last minutes.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
Sounds like the author has a man-crush on this guy...
hohumm
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
cnfidential to twango : sadly , not EVERYONE has evolved beyong the phsical.
hohumm
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
i mean beyonD . and phYsical . O_O
hohumm
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
popsicle .
hohumm
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
and your FLY is closed .
hohumm
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
and your WHOLE FAMILY too .
hohumm
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
:(
Zortec_of_the_Galactic_Empire
not rated yet Apr 12, 2011
We on Homeplanet were alarmed in the 1960's as it looked like Earthlings were truly on a track to conquer space and could be a long-term threat to the Galactic Empire. Now we just laugh!

When a civilization expends greater efforts looking back at past achievements rather than creating new ones, it is toast. You fools are even scrapping the closest thing you have to a real spaceship, and it may be decades before anyone bothers to venture beyond orbit. If we invaded your puny little planet, we couldn't have done much more damage than you are doing yourselves!

Puzzled,
Zortec
Local Director, Galactic Gas
tkjtkj
not rated yet Apr 12, 2011
tkitki --
What Russian bias? It's not science news, but what bias. Shows his gregarious humanity and some details of the last minutes.


"... celebrity whose boyish charms became a powerful propaganda weapon for the Soviet Union... "
I guess you believe Russian statements are 'propaganda' while ours are truths?

"Russian authorities -- with their own space programme in trouble -- have grabbed on to that glory by making the Gagarin celebrations into a national event " In trouble?? just what state is our own program in? You seem to tolerate pejorative, demeaning remarks here .. i don't.