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The Soviet pilot Yuri Gagarin made his pioneering spaceflight 60 years ago. In the USSR, it marked a time of optimistic, forward-looking modernization, of which the Soviet space program was the hallmark.

Maxim Trudolyubov discusses the Soviet-American space race and today’s newfound space enthusiasm with Victoria Smolkin, associate professor of history and Russian studies at Wesleyan University and Asif Siddiqi, professor of history at Fordham University.

Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the surrounding region though research and exchange.  Read more