Gagarin and God

A book published on the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight says the oft quoted words of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin: ‘I flew into space but didn’t see God’ actually came from Nikita Khrushchev, who wanted to get propaganda value from Gagarin’s huge popularity, and attributed his own words to him. We now know that Gagarin was actually a devout believer. General Valentin Petrov, a personal friend, said: ‘I always remember that Yuri Gagarin said: “An astronaut cannot be suspended in space and not have God in his mind and his heart.” It reminds me of the French astronomer who said: ‘I have swept the universe with my telescope, and I find no God.’ To which a musician perceptively replied: ‘And I have taken my violin apart, and examined each part with a microscope, and have found no music.’

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