Apr 12, 200602:38 PMThe Life
Apr 12, 2006 - 02:38 PMYuri's Night is a global celebration of human space travel, held annually on April 12.
This date marks the historic first flight of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, as well as the launch of the first Space Shuttle exactly 20 years later. So 2006 is the 45th anniversary of Yuri's flight in Vostok 1 and the 25th anniversary of the first shuttle launch.
"At seven past nine Moscow time I felt the powerful rocket boosters. Everything was vibrating, and then, very slowly, I took off." -Yuri Gagarin
On April 12, 1981, at 7:00:03am EST, two astronauts blasted off in the shuttle Columbia. Commander John Young had already flown in space four times, including a walk on the moon in 1972. Pilot Bob Crippen was a Navy test pilot who would go on to command three future shuttle missions.