9.07 a.m., April 12, 1961. A top-secret rocket site in the USSR. A young Russian sits inside a tiny capsule on top of the Soviet Union’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile – originally designed to carry a nuclear warhead – and blasts into the skies. His name is Yuri Gagarin. And he is about to make history.
Travelling at almost 18,000 miles per hour – ten times faster than a rifle bullet – Gagarin circles the globe in just 106 minutes. While his launch begins in total secrecy, within hours of his landing he has become a world celebrity – the first human to leave the planet.
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Drawing on extensive original research and the vivid testimonies of eyewitnesses, many of whom have never spoken before, Stephen unpacks secrets that were hidden for decades and takes you into the drama of one of humanity’s greatest adventures. Now I thought I knew Gagarins’s story, but discovered so much more after reading this book. The episode just scratches the surface and there is so much more in the actual book Stephen and I could have talked for hours.
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I am delighted to welcome Stephen Walker to our Cold War conversation…
Harper Collins have kindly provided 3 copies to give away!
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