Russia releases Gagarin's secret last words
Russia: One of the last things Yuri Gagarin did before making his
pioneering voyage into space 50 years ago was make sure he had enough
sausage to last him on the trip back home to Moscow.
This tidbit was among more than 700 pages of once-secret material
linked to the life and times of the world's first spaceman that were
released by Russia for the April 12 anniversary.
But making the biggest news among Russians this weekend were files
revealing the conversation Gagarin had while strapped into his capsule
with chief rocket designer Sergei Korolyov - a man who became a legend
in his own right.
Gagarin is best remembered by a generation of Russian for pronouncing
"Poyekhali!" as his Vostok spacecraft lifted off the ground. The phrase
can be translated as either "Let's Go!" or "We're Off!" and is now a
regular part of the Russian lexicon.
But the Russian Internet was abuzz with what Gagarin said moments
before his famous catchphrase. One of Korolyov's biggest worries
appeared to be that the would-be hero had enough to eat once he touched
down on Earth. "There in the flap you have dinner, supper and
breakfast," the father of the Soviet rocket programme told Gagarin by
radio as the clock ticked down.
"Got it," Gagarin replied in comments originally posted on the
"You've got sausage, candy and jam to go with the tea," Korolyov went
on. "Sixty-three pieces - you'll get fat! When you get back today, eat
everything right away." Gagarin joked back: "The main thing is that
there is sausage - to go with the moonshine."
Korolyov appeared to take the joke in stride. "Damn. This thing is
recording everything, the bastard," the scientist said in reference to
the relay recorders.
The website also published a photograph of the original faded sheet
on which the conversation is transcribed. Lifenews.ru added that Gagarin
appeared to be singing and whistling to himself while mission control
continued conducting various last-minute checks.