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Gagarin in space. Space travels. Astronautics

Gagarin in space. Space travels. Astronautics

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On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alexéevich Gagarin became the first human being in space. His Vostok 1 (East 1) cosmonave, controlled from the ground, launched him at an altitude of 327 kilometers and led him around the planet Earth.

Gagarin was strictly a passenger on this flight. As a precaution against the unknown physiological effects of space flight on piloting skills and the trial itself, the on-board controls were blocked with a secret combination. In an emergency, he carried the combination in a sealed envelope.

After re-entry, Gagarin ejected from the Vostok at an altitude of approximately 7,000 meters and parachuted down to Earth. On his return he commented "The sky is very dark; the Earth is bluish. Everything can be seen very clearly."

Along with other achievements, this flight confirmed the early Soviet advantage in the space race. Born on March 9, 1934, Gagarin was an Air Force fighter pilot before being chosen for the first group of cosmonauts in 1960. As a result of his historic flight, he became an international hero and a legend. He died when his MiG jet crashed during a training flight on March 27, 1968. Gagarin had a hero's funeral and his ashes are buried in the Kremlin Wall.

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