NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Yuri's Night, Bay Area 2008

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008


On Saturday night, April 12, I was at the Yuri's Night celebration at Ames Research Center. This is the second year for this celebration on-site at Ames. It recognizes the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first spaceflight on April 12, 1961. He flew one orbit, at the age of 27, to become the first human to orbit the Earth. Celebrations also were held at Johnson Space Center and Goddard Space Flight Center, not to mention the other parties around the globe on this historic date. To open the festivities, Center Director Dr. Pete Worden appeared in a Soviet general's uniform in recognition of Yuri's homeland. Pete and I cut the ceremonial ribbon.

Dr. Pete Worden wearing uniform of a Soviet-era general
Yuri Night ribbon cutting
Shana Dale with Astronaut Cagle at Yuri Night, Ames Research Center
Shana Dale with Astronaut Cagle at Yuri Night, Ames Research Center

I wanted to attend as I had heard that it is very popular with Millennials. There was an air show, displays, bands, live performances, and interesting costumes. This did not have a traditional NASA-feel to it and that's one reason it appeals to a younger crowd. As I was walking around, I was imagining this event (with this crowd) at HQ or most of the other centers but I couldn't get my head around that thought. I suppose you'd need to experience it to know what I mean. I didn't stay very late, but from all that I saw, it looked like a very successful event and made Ames accessible, in a fun way, to the surrounding community. Pete makes it possible so my hat is off to him.

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