A.SOKOLOV & A.LEONOV / ASAP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY A.SOKOLOV & A.LEONOV / ASAP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Painting depicting the launch of Vostock 1, the first manned spaceflight. Vostock 1 was launched at 06:07 GMT on 12 April 1961 from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, carrying Yuri Gagarin. The flight lasted for just one orbit, ending 108 minutes after take-off. Although it was originally claimed that Gagarin stayed with the craft until touch-down, it is now known that he ejected at an altitude of 7km, like all subsequent Vostock cosmonauts. The controls of Vostock 1 were intentionally locked, so Gagarin was no more than a passenger. This painting was made by artist Andrei Sokolov and cosmonaut Alexei Leonov.
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