First Soviet cosmonaut squad, 1961

First Soviet cosmonaut squad, 1961

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Caption: First Soviet cosmonaut squad, in Sochi, Russia, in May 1961. This photograph was taken soon after the world's first successful orbital flight, by Yuri Gagarin. At centre is Sergei Korolev (1907-1966) the Soviet Union's pioneering rocket scientist, with his wife on his left and Gagarin on his right. Another notable cosmonaut in this picture is Alexei Leonov (second row, far left, born 1934), who, in 1965, became the first man to exit his spacecraft and carry out a space walk. The cosmonaut who is third from the right in the second row is Grigory G. Nelyubov (1934-1966) who was expelled from the cosmonaut squad in disgrace and later airbrushed out of official versions of this photograph. Full list of cosmonauts available on request.

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