Space Foundation censors name of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, citing Russian invasion of Ukraine

The name of the first human to travel into space was removed from an annual conference.

The Space Foundation has removed the name of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin from its space industry conference, three weeks after Russia declared a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It should be noted that Gagarin was the first person in history to travel into space.

In a now-deleted note, the Space Foundation announced that, “in light of current world events,” it would change the name of a fundraiser from “Yuri’s Night” to “A Celebration of Space: Discover What’s Next” at its Space Symposium conference.

“The focus of this fundraising event remains the same — to celebrate human achievements in space while inspiring the next generation to reach for the stars,” according to the deleted update.

After completing one orbit of Earth on April 12, 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut made history by becoming the first human to travel into space.

Gagarin, who was born in a Soviet village that is now part of Russia, died in a MiG-15 training jet crash in March 1968, at the age of 34.

Gagarin was honoured for his pioneering achievement both during his lifetime and after his death by the USSR and several countries around the world.

Since 2000, Yuri’s Night has been held annually to commemorate significant milestones in space exploration. Many people were outraged by what they saw as historical censorship.



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