Geek Trivia

In Russia It Is A Tradition For Cosmonauts And Astronauts To Do What Before Blasting Off Into Space?

Sing Their National Anthem
Salute the Kremlin
Do a Handstand
Plant a Tree
The First Toilet Shown On Television Appeared In An Episode Of?

Answer: Plant a Tree

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Russia’s equivalent of the Kennedy Space Center launch complex, there is a long standing tradition among cosmonauts, astronauts, and space travelers of all creeds and stripes. The tradition started with Yuri Gagarin, the first human to enter space, when he planted a single tree before blasting off further from Earth than anyone had ever been.

Every Russian cosmonaut, and then later astronauts from other countries, that has left the bounds of Earth from the Cosmodrome has first planted a tree on the path to the launchpad. This path, once barren, is now lined with dozens of trees and is known as the Cosmonaut Grove. Every man or woman who passes down the walk to the launch pad is passing through half a century of space exploration history, starting with the oldest and biggest tree planted by Gagarin himself.

Image courtesy of NASA.