Cosmonaut suspects that erasing mentions of Russian achievements in space will not stop there
FILE PHOTO. Yuri Gagarin before a space flight aboard the Vostok spacecraft. April 12, 1961. © Sputnik
Russian Cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko has criticized as ‘indefensible’ the removal of the name of the first human in space, legendary cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, from the title of US space industry conference’s fundraising event. The erasure comes amid the global clampdown on all things Russian as the conflict in Ukraine goes on.
“A fight with history has started. Yuri Gagarin is not only our history, [he] is global history. They are trying to erase world history from the memory of everyone on Earth,” the cosmonaut lamented, in an interview with RT on Saturday.
“Such actions are indefensible,” Borisenko, who was part of two long-duration missions to the International Space Station and who has over 337 days in orbit under his belt, added.
The Space Foundation, a Colorado-based not-for-profit group led largely by aerospace industry executives, altered the agenda for its upcoming Space Symposium in April, renaming a fundraising party that used to be titled “Yuri’s Night.” The group noted that “in light of current world events,” the fundraiser had been renamed “A Celebration of Space: Discover What’s Next.” That page was later deleted and replaced with an updated conference agenda that excluded the explanation for canceling Gagarin.
Borisenko believes that Russia’s other space achievements will suffer the same fate. “I suspect that in other events that will be held in the near future, related to the coverage of space exploration, space flights, the mention of our country will also be erased,” he said.
Yuri Gagarin made history on April 12, 1961, when he became the first person to orbit Earth. The Soviet pilot’s iconic flight inspired a generation to imagine the possibilities of space travel, and cemented the USSR’s status as a technological superpower.