It’s Wikipedia Wednesday already! Doesn’t time fly?
Same rules as last week: Six clicks, six random articles, find something interesting to talk about.
This week the first click was the most interesting. For me, that is. Your mileage may vary. Today, boys and girls, we landed on Vostok 2.
This is one of wikipedia’s disambiguation pages where a single term could refer to more than one topic.
It offered these two options:
- Vostok 2, Soviet manned spaceflight
- Vostok-2 (rocket), Soviet rocket
I’ve always had a keen interest in space, and had heard of the Vostok missions but couldn’t tell you off the top of my head why they were important. I wondered what Vostok 1 was, so followed the Wikipedia rabbit-hole…
Aha! Vostok 1 launched on the 12th April, 1961, and carried a sole passenger. You may have heard of him, one Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. Here he is:
The following Vostok missions were like a checklist of firsts:
- Vostok 2 (6th August 1961), first manned mission lasting a full day
- Vostok 3 & Vostok 4 (11th/12th August 1962), first simultaneous flight of two manned spacecraft
- Vostok 5 (14th June 1963), the longest solo orbit flight
- Vostok 6 (16th June 1963), the first woman in space
Though of course virtually everything to do with space was a first in those days.
The Russians edged out first American in space by less than a month – on 5th May 1961 Alan Shephard piloted the Freedom 7 mission, though his suborbital flight only lasted 15 minutes, against Gagarin’s orbital flight of 108 minutes. He did however go on to become the fifth man to walk on the moon, which is awesome. He also whacked some golf balls around whilst up there.
Isn’t space *brilliant*?
The other five random pages, in no particular order:
- Gudbrandsdalslågen, a river flowing through the Gudbrandsdal of Norway. Lågen is just the finite form of låg, which means water or river. So it just means ‘the river’
- Battle of Misrata (also known as the Siege of Misrata), was a battle of the 2011 Libyan civil war. It was fought between troops loyal to the government of Muammar Gaddafi, and anti-Gaddafi rebels who held Misrata, the third largest city in Libya.
- Vanant, the Avestan language name of a minor Zoroastrian divinity which literally means “conqueror”.
- Caecilia marcusi a species of amphibian in the Caeciliidae family, endemic to Bolivia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, plantations, rural gardens, and heavily degraded former forest.
- Wismes, a commune in the Pas-de-Calais département in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.