DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971, centre) and Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968, left). Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during the Cold War. He was First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Gagarin made the first manned space flight on 12th April 1961. He orbited the Earth once in the Vostok 1 spacecraft, a flight that lasted 1 hour and 48 minutes. He later returned to active service as a test pilot, dying in a crash during a training flight in 1968.
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