SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968), Soviet cosmonaut, wearing a flight helmet in February 1968. At the time of the photograph he held the rank of colonel, but would die a month later in a flying accident. Seven years earlier, Gagarin had become the first human in space, orbiting the Earth in the Vostok 1 spacecraft on 12 April 1961. Following this historic spaceflight, Gagarin became a hero in the Soviet Union and famous worldwide. He later returned to active service as a test pilot, dying with Soviet test pilot Vladimir Seryogin (1922-1968) in a crash during a training flight on 27 March 1968. Photographed in Moscow, Russia, on 28 February 1968.
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