Vostok 1 spacecraft landing site, 1961

Vostok 1 spacecraft landing site, 1961

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Vostok 1 spacecraft landing site. Vostok 1 descent module after landing in the Saratov region of Russia, in the USSR, on 12 April 1961. Vostok 1 was the first spacecraft to take a human, Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968), into space. Vostok 1 launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan, and took 1 hour and 48 minutes to circle the Earth. After re-entry the descent module separated from the rest of the spacecraft. Gagarin ejected 7 kilometres up, parachuting safely to the ground. The descent module also deployed a parachute, but hit the ground hard enough to create an impact crater, bouncing several times before coming to rest covered in soil. Photographed on 12 April 1961.

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