DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vostok 1 heat insulation. Close-up of the exterior insulation and cladding around the entrance to the Vostok 1 spacecraft. 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.
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