(NPR) In Russia, Space Ride For U.S. Spurs Nostalgia, Hope

“We were first and could not be beaten,” she said. “But that was the Soviet Union.” She feels her country now lags behind in science and technology, but adds she’s happy her country is no longer feared by the West.

That was the theme Thursday when a new statue of Gagarin was unveiled ”” not in Moscow, but in London, near Buckingham Palace, right by a statue of the great British explorer James Cook.

Sergei Krikalyov, who heads Russia’s Gagarin Center for Cosmonaut Training, was there for the unveiling. He called the setting appropriate.

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