Controllers watch Gagarin in orbit, 1961

Controllers watch Gagarin in orbit, 1961

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Controllers watch Gagarin in orbit. Soviet mission controllers and scientists monitoring the condition of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968) during his historic spaceflight. Sensors recorded data such as the rate of Gagarin's heartbeat and breathing. Gagarin became the first human in space, orbiting the Earth in the Vostok 1 spacecraft on 12 April 1961. On his return, he became a hero in the Soviet Union and famous worldwide. This is a still image from the documentary film The First Flight to the Stars. This film was first shown at the second Moscow International Film Festival in July 1961. Photographed in Russia, on 12 April 1961.

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