Profile America — Wednesday, April 13th. On this date 50 years ago newspapers, and radio and television reports from around the world featured stories about the first man to travel into space the day before — cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union. The feat marked the beginning of a manned space vehicle race that ended eight years later when Apollo 11 put two American astronauts on the moon. On the same date 30 years ago, media attention was focused on the first space shuttle launch, as Columbia lifted off from Cape Canaveral for a 36 orbit mission. There is one and possibly two more shuttle flights scheduled before the program ends. Those flights are part of NASA's $17 billion budget for spaceflight this year. Profile America is in its 14th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2011, p. 217
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2011, t. 815
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