Yuri Gagarin as a teenager, 1950

Yuri Gagarin as a teenager, 1950

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Yuri Gagarin as a teenager in Russia in 1950. Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968) later became famous as the first man in space. Gagarin was born in the village of Klushino near Gzhatsk, Russia, later moving to Saratov on the Volga River to enter the polytechnic there. In Saratov, he learnt to fly, and in 1955 after completing his technical training, he began military flight training in Orenburg. In 1960, he was selected for the Soviet space program. He became famous worldwide and was made a Hero of the Soviet Union when he became the first man in space, orbiting the Earth in the Vostok 1 spacecraft on 12 April 1961. He died in 1968 in a plane crash.

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