Gagarin and Korolev before launch, 1961

Gagarin and Korolev before launch, 1961

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Gagarin and Korolev before the historic 1961 launch. At left is Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (1934-1966) and at right is Soviet engineer Sergei Korolev (1907-1966), the head rocket engineer and designer for the Soviet Union's space programme. Gagarin is about to depart on his historic journey to become the first man in space. He flew on board Vostok 1, designed by Korolev and Kerim Kerimov. Photographed at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on 12 April 1961.

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