Shocker: The Soviets lied about the success of Yuri Gagarin’s mission.
I'm pretty sure Gagarin was just happy to walk away from the capsule and didn't really care where he landed.
The Soviet Union held up his mission, the first manned flight into space, as a major Cold War propaganda coup, portraying it as a glitch-free triumph of Communist ideology.
However, a new book published on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of Gagarin’s famous flight has revealed that scientists twice miscalculated where he would land which is why there was nobody there to meet him when he finally touched down some 500 miles south of Moscow.
“For many years Soviet literature claimed that Yuri Gagarin and his Vostok landing capsule had come down in the area it was supposed to,” according to the book, titled 108 Minutes That Changed the World.
“(But) this information was far from the truth,” it added, saying Soviet space planners had been expecting him to land almost 250 miles further to the south. “So it turned out that nobody was waiting or looking for Yuri Gagarin. Therefore the first thing he had to do after landing was set off to look for people and communications so he could tell the leadership where he was.”
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- Greg Pollowitz