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First in orbit


n Florida, the “Mercury 7” astronauts were preparing for the launch of the first manned capsule, which was shortly due to fly a steep, suborbital path, to prove the viability of the Mercury space vehicle. Chimpanzees had successfully been launched and retrieved and the Redstone missile, the brainchild of scientist Wernher von Braun, was one of the most reliable launchers in the U.S. arsenal.

The Soviet Union had beaten the U.S. in 1957 by launching the first, unmanned artificial satellite, Sputnik.
In total secrecy, preparations were also underway at the space center in Baikonur, for an orbital manned flight. The U.S.S.R. had to show the world its scientific leadership by being first with a man in space.

We now present a document which unequivocally proves that on February 2, 1961, nine weeks before Gagarin, another Russian cosmonaut flew into space. His mission was not successful and this hero perished during the flight. His sacrifice was kept secret from the world for reasons of political propaganda.

The attached ‘RealAudio’ files are actual recordings of the last moments of this hero’s life. His failing heartbeat can be heard, as it was recorded by the Judica-Cordiglia brothers. A leading cardiologist of the time, Prof. Dogliotti, confirmed that the heartbeats are those of a dying person. The breathing sounds are, literally, the last gasps of the cosmonaut, already unconscious.