As the games in London wind down, I thought that it would be nice to showcase some of the scientific and space gold medals to also follow in the tradition of ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius,’ which is Latin for ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’. I won’t be using any of the “official” names or symbols associated with the games held in London due to the fact that they very strictly enforce all trademarks for those games, and I do not want to be on the receiving end of a “nastygram.” Therefore, without further ado, I present my list of gold medalist in the manned spaceflight events.
1st man in space – Yuri Gagarin.
First woman in space – Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova is a retired Soviet cosmonaut and the first woman to have flown in space, having been selected from more than four hundred applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963.
Apollo 11 – First lunar landing.
Manned endurance – Soyuz 9 Andrian Nikolayev, Vitali Sevastyanov, this flight marked the beginning of working in space under weightless conditions; endurance record for solo craft remains.
First Space Station – Salyut 1 occupied by Soyuz 11 crew for 23 days.
First car on another planet and a giant leap for mankind – Apollo 15m fourth Moon landing; first lunar rover use; first deep spacewalk.
First icebreaker – Soyuz 19, first U.S./USSR joint flight; docked with Apollo 18 for 2 days; conducted experiments, shared meals, and held a joint news conference.
First re-entry vehicle – STS-1, Columbia, first space shuttle flight; orbital test flight; some thermal tiles lost (a portent of things to come).
First free flight in space – 41-B, Challenger, first untethered EVA & testing of MMU jetpack; first Kennedy Space Center landing.
Longest catch – 41-C, Challenger, first in-orbit satellite retrieval/repair.
First space tourist – Soyuz TM-32, Dennis Tito first space “tourist” having paid $20 million for trip. If I had the money, I’d go up too.
First commercial spaceflight – SpaceShipOne (yes, it is spelled correctly), Flight 15, first privately funded, non-government manned space flight; suborbital reaching 328,491 feet (100,124 m) altitude.
These are my gold medalist. So what do think? Did I miss any of your favorite contenders? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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– Ex astris, scientia –