Icarus’ Dream

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60 years ago, on April 12, 1961, a human flew into space for the first time. This person turned out to be an ordinary Russian guy Yuri Gagarin, a young officer, a 27-year-old aviator of the Soviet Air Force. His pleasant, smiling face instantly appeared on the covers of all magazines in the world and on the front pages of newspapers. All radio stations and TV channels opened their news programs pronouncing his full name. Within only one day Yuri Gagarin became the most famous person in the world, even more famous than the most famous movie and pop stars.

Such extraordinary, incredible popularity arose primarily due to the fact that his image began to embody a human dream. In ancient Greek mythology, Icarus, the son of Daedalus, dreamed of flying to the Sun – to conquer space. After thousands of years of waiting, Icarus’ dream was realised by Yuri Gagarin, an ordinary man, who was born in an ordinary Russian village.

The paradox is that there was something unusual in Gagarin’s simplicity. He did not pretend to be a VIP.

He just committed an act. The act making everyone’s hearts beat. There aren’t that many people capable of equally significant actions. And those whose actions embody our dreams can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Gagarin’s flight did not last long, it took less than two hours, and it was rather symbolic. But this is precisely what gave it a poetic essence, without which there are no mythical heroes.

Victor Loupan

The Publishing House “Russian Mind” expresses thanks to the Foundation for Supporting and Protecting the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad for the support and financial aid provided to the “Russian Mind” magazine for the purpose of the Special Issue devoted to the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight.

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