Yuri’s Night 2009
A friend invited me to Yuri’s Night 2009 this past weekend at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. What a blast! Such a great event for fellow geeks. Where else can you mingle with others dressed in Star Wars outfits and have quality, intellectual conversations? Great music was provided by DJ Scientific and Middle Distance Runner.
Human Spaceflight became a reality 45 years ago with the launch of a bell-shaped capsule called “Vostok 1.” The capsule was carrying Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who took his place in history as the first human to leave the bounds of Earth and enter outer space.
Exactly 20 years later, the United States embarked on a new era in spaceflight with the inaugural launch of a new type of spaceship — the Space Shuttle. Designed to carry a larger crew and large volumes of cargo to orbit, the Space Shuttles became synonymous with human spaceflight for an entirely new generation of young people.
When the next 20-year point arrived, that generation (often called “Gen X”) laid a new space milestone by connecting thousands of people around the world to celebrate and honor the past, while building a stairway to the future. That event was Yuri’s Night, and it continues to bring the excitement, passion and promise of space travel closer to people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds.