Russian students launch rocket in honour of Yuri Gagarin

13 Apr 2011

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A group of Russian students paid tribute to Yuri Gagarin this week by launching a rocket from their university campus.

April 12th 2011 marked 50 years since the cosmonaut became the first man ever to travel into space and orbit the earth.

To celebrate, the Siberian State Aerospace University students made a rocket and then set it off into the air. For some reason, the craft was shaped like a guitar, but it certainly made for an interesting spectacle as it zoomed across the skyline.

Elsewhere, in the central square of Kyiv in the Ukraine, the largest ever jigsaw to feature the face of Gagarin was laid out, taking a team of 15 puzzlers 20 minutes to assemble 25 square metres.

Google also created one of its famous doodles for the occasion, this time featuring an animation of a rocket going off that was activated by the viewer's mouse.

Gagarin's mission resulted in the space race heating up and Russia (then the USSR) getting the upper hand over the US for a while.

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