On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first person to fly into space, his 108-minute flight created a new mode of transport - manned spaceflight.  Since that historic event, the Soviet Union followed a course to create a series of manned space stations supporting the development of long-duration space flight.  This presentation recalls the events leading up to the flight of Gagarin and how the Soviet programme developed those skills of living off the Earth for months at a time.  Stretching back to the dawn of the 20th  century Soviet theorists,  and planners created an infrastructure to achieve remarkable firsts in the early years of the space age.  By the late 1980's the Soviet system began to collapse and things were about to change.  Dave reviews the demise of the Soviet Union and the effect on the manned space programme as well as the reflective look at the troubled Soviet manned lunar effort, and how a new Russian programme hand hope emerged from the demise of communism.
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