Example: 60 Years Ago (April 1961), Yuri Gagarin Became The First Human To Orbit The Earth
In 2021, FAI will put the spotlight on the most remarkable records ratified by the Federation, and on the striking feats that have marked the history of aviation and space exploration.
By celebrating the anniversaries of these achievements, FAI also wants to commemorate the women and men who pushed the limits of technology and human potential to conquer the sky and explore space.
Sixty years ago, in April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth and established three records after submitting a detailed file to FAI for ratification. He was followed less than a month later by Alan Shepard, the first American to travel into space, who broke two records in the process. Ten years later in 1971, the Soviet Union placed the world’s first space station in earth orbit, Salyut 1.
Air sports will also have their fair share of firsts and records to remember, starting as far back as 1871, when brilliant engineer Alphonse Pénaud created the “Planophore”, a model aircraft powered by a twisted rubber band which marked a significant milestone in the flight research. Fast-forwarding through more than 140 years of technology development to 2016, Walter Extra broke records in his electric-powered plane and Bertrand Piccard flew from New York to Seville aboard an aircraft solely using the energy of the sun.
During the 20th century, societal progress opened the doors of aviation to women. In 1911, Harriet Quimby became the first woman in the US to earn an aeroplane pilot licence. In 1951, FAI approved its first parachuting records, which were set by Frenchwoman Monique Laroche. Passionate athletes of both genders helped this sport evolve throughout the years, which now includes new disciplines such as speed skydiving, in which Henrik Raimer reached 601,26 km/h in 2016.
In ballooning, FAI will celebrate an array of spectacular records anniversaries, from Auguste Piccard’s ascension into the stratosphere in 1931 to Fedor Konyukhov’s shortest flight around the world in 2016.
Exceptional achievements could not happen without strong friendship and efficient teamwork, as demonstrated by Rafael Monteiro Saladini, Rafael de Moraes Barros and Marcelo Prieto who flew together to break simultaneous paragliding records in 2019.
12 April 1961
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