Russian cosmonauts pee on the rear bus tire before a space launch. The tradition was started by Yuri Gagarin who did it out of necessity and Russians have since emulated him. Female cosmonauts bring along their urine in vials ready to dump on the tire so they can be part of tradition too.
In 1961 when Yuri Gagarin returned from space Nikita Khrushchev wanted to boost the Soviet’s anti-religion campaign by saying: “Gagarin flew into space, but didn’t see any god there.”
Fifty-five years ago today, astronaut Yuri Gagarin made history, when he got into Soviet Vostok 1 spaceship capsule and launched into space. Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. Reports praised Gagarin for his perfect flight, but in fact he didn’t pilot the Vostok capsule. Psychologists working with the Soviet Space Program were worried that exposure to weightlessness would impact the pilot’s decision-making faculties. And so, the pilot was effectively locked out of controlling his capsule.
Yuri Gagarin’s heart was beating at 64 beats per minute just half an hour before the launch that would bring him to space. 64 BPM is lower than the average person’s pulse just after waking up in the morning.