Science: The Cruise of the Vostok

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Triumphant music blared across the land. Russia's radios saluted the morning with the slow, stirring beat of the patriotic song, How Spacious Is My Country. Then came the simple announcement that shattered forever man's ancient isolation on earth: "The world's first spaceship, Vostok [East], with a man on board, has been launched on April 12 in the Soviet Union on a round-the-world orbit."

From Leningrad to Petropavlovsk, the U.S.S.R. came to a halt. Streetcars and buses stopped so that passengers could listen to loudspeakers in public squares. Factory workers shut off...

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