Chapter #124:

The Friendies and Gagarin

History is full of turning points—the discovery and control of fire, the making of tools, the beginning of language, the formation of songs, the invention of written word, the discovery of mathematics. And of course the discovery of new lands, the calculation of Earth’s curvature, the discovery of different species of living beings, and much more.

Regarding technology, April 12, 1961 was an important day. On this day, the Friendies were up early, and waiting at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, because at 9 am a spacecraft was supposed to take off with Yuri Gagarin on board—the first human to travel to outer space. He was supposed to make a full circle around the Earth. On events as important as this, it is immensely important that everything goes well, so the Friendies decided to be there to lend a helping hand wherever they could.

As early as 7:10 in the morning, Yuri Gagarin stepped into the spacecraft named Vostok, and started to check the apparatus and communications with the control center on Earth. The Friendies snuck into Vostok while nobody was watching. They didn’t want to make a nuisance and disturb anyone on their important tasks, and even if they would have gone to say hello, it would have caused a lot of excitement, which could have possibly led to something unnecessary happening. During such important moments, it is not good to get in the way.

Yuri was counting numbers to the microphone, and the control center answered that audio systems were go. Then, each and every device received a separate inspection, after which the outer hatch was locked. The Friendies kept close to each other at the back of Gagarin’s seat. B@b@ took a tiny cookie and broke it in half, and her and Fofefa ate it as quietly as they could to avoid disturbing the cosmonaut. They also tried not to leave any crumbs, because a spacecraft has to be clean and tidy, and cookie crumbs floating around would raise a lot of unnecessary questions.

At 9:07 a notification from the control center was heard, “Preliminary stage… intermediate…main…lift off! We wish you a good flight. Everything is all right.

Gagarin happily answered, “Let’s go!” The engines were roaring, and the rocket was rising ever higher into the sky. The Friendies held onto the seat and to each other to feel safer, and B@b@ said, her voice trembling from the strong vibration, “B@b@b@!”, and Fofefa was so excited that she howled, “Fofeeeeeffaaaaa!” Luckily, the noise was so loud that Yuri didn’t hear them.

After two minutes, the boosters had used up all their propellant, and dropped off. After five minutes, the main engine had also used up its propellant, and fell away from the capsule in which Yuri Gagarin and the Friendies were, and the final rocket stage ignited. At 9:17, the desired altitude was reached, so the rocket final stage shut down and fell away from the capsule. Now, weightlessness arrived. The Friendies tended to float around, but tried to keep themselves secretly behind the seat. They sometimes moved around behind the panels of the capsule, and saw to it that all the wires and cables were sealed properly, and that there was nothing odd anywhere. Everything was working very well, and their hearts were happy.

The capsule orbited the Earth so quickly that already at 9:49 it reached the nightside of the Earth. Then, in the dark, the Friendies came out of hiding for a moment, and looked down to Earth through the window, and waved. It is not known if they spoke to Yuri, or if Yuri was too busy with all the different devices and they decided against making conversation, and Yuri didn’t notice them. But when the process of landing begun, the Friendies hopped into the pocket of Yuri’s space suit, and kept really quiet in there.

After the capsule had fired the retrorockets, and reached the altitude of 2.5 kilometers from Earth, Yuri Gagarin was automatically ejected from the capsule, and happily parachuted down with the Friendies, and landed 260 kilometers away from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Two villagers witnessed the landing, and were initially scared, but Yuri shouted to them that he is like them—a citizen of the Soviet Union—and he needs a telephone to call Moscow, and make an announcement about landing safely. After seeing the Friendies, the villagers were no longer scared, and rushed over to help. The Friendies saw that everything was well, and flew off—swish and flick—to carry on with their usual tringeling. Then and now, whenever there is something important that has to succeed, we can be sure that the Friendies are somewhere near, keeping an eye on the event, and helping whenever they can. Even if it is just being present, they do it to ensure that everything goes as planned and ends happily. Therefore, we should always check the back of our seats and the insides of our pockets, and whenever we find crumbs in there, we can be certain that the Friendies were with us during the critically important moment.


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