Space station crew mark big space anniversaries

April 12, 2011 3:00:42 AM PDT
The six astronauts aboard the International Space Station will take part in Tuesday's celebration of two major space anniversaries. Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of man's first journey into space, and the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle launch.

Russian Commander Dmitry Kondratyev said Monday that Yuri Gagarin's space flight on April 12, 1961, has culminated in the huge space station. He says he's hoping for another giant leap in the next half-century.

As for the shuttle anniversary, astronaut Ronald Garan Jr. said Columbia's launch on April 12, 1981, inspired him to become a spaceman.

On Tuesday, NASA will announce which museums will win the soon-to-be retired shuttles for display. The astronauts say they're impartial, as to where the shuttles wind up.