SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934-1968), Soviet cosmonaut and first man in space. Gagarin was born in the village of Klushino near Gzhatsk, Russia. In 1955, after completing his technical training, he began military flight training. In 1960, he was selected for the Soviet space program. He became famous worldwide when he became the first man in space, orbiting the Earth in the Vostok 1 spacecraft on 12 April 1961. He died in 1968 when the fighter plane he was flying crashed during a routine traning flight. His honours include Hero of the Soviet Union (on his left lapel) and the Order of Lenin. Photographed in 1963.
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