UPDATE: The Space Foundation did not strip honours from Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. It did, however, remove Gagarin’s name from promotion of the annual event amid the war in Ukraine. Gagarin will still be mentioned in the event’s programming.
The Space Foundation removed the name of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man to ever be in space, from its event advertising.
The annual "Yuri's night" at the yearly Space Symposium event has been replaced with "A Celebration of Space: Discover What’s Next." The event is attended by dozens of space companies and has over 100 speakers, with thousands of participants.
A now-deleted note stated: "The focus of this fundraising event remains the same — to celebrate human achievements in space while inspiring the next generation to reach for the stars."
Gagarin was born in Russia when it was still a part of the USSR, and is still held in high esteem in Ukraine, where there is a sports stadium named after him.
"It’s a rather dubious show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, especially considering that Gagarin worked for the USSR, a completely different country from modern day Russia. And the icing on the cake? Ukraine actually appears to be rather fond of Gagarin and his monumental achievement," Futurism, who brought the note to light, wrote.
"Erasing the name of the first person to ever fly to space while supposedly celebrating 'human achievements in space' is bad enough... But doing so in line with the milquetoast trend of disavowing all things Russian, including famous composers and food products, amid the country’s current invasion of Ukraine is just outrageous."
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