• Short Summary

    70th anniversary of the birth of Yuri Gagarin, the
    first man in space.

    Russian cosmonaut?

  • Description

    70th anniversary of the birth of Yuri Gagarin, the
    first man in space.

    Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man to
    fly into outer space would have turned 70 on Tuesday, March
    9, 2004.

    Gagarin won a place in history when he took off in his
    Vostok craft on an R-7 rocket to become the first man in
    space April 12, 1961.

    Gagarin was born to a peasant family on March 9, 1934
    in Gzhatsk in the central Russian region of Smolensk. He
    was educated at Technical Institute in Saratov where he
    joined local Air Club and later entered an air school in
    Orenburg in the southern Urals.

    He was married and had two daughters.

    After two years of intensive training in a programme
    supervised by Russia's chief spacecraft designer Sergei
    Korolyov, Gararin successfully passed all the required

    The Vostok spaceship, piloted by Gagarin was launched
    from the Baikonur launchpad on April 12, 1961.

    The flight lasted 1 hour and 48 minutes and the maximum
    distance from the Earth's surface reached by the craft was
    327 kilometers.

    After one orbit around the Earth, the re-entry vehicle
    landed in the Saratov Region. Gagarin ejected and landed
    using a parachute not far from the reentry vehicle.

    Gagarin was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union tittle
    by the Soviet authorities.

    April 12, the day of his flight, is celebrated in
    Russia as the National Space Day.

    The circumstances in which Gagarin died on March 27,
    1968 remain unclear, but it was during a training flight in
    difficult weather conditions. The official version of his
    death is that the MiG-15 he and his co-pilot were flying
    entered a spin and crashed in the forest.

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