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Yuri Gagarin: Everyday photos of the First Man in Space, 1960s


Soviet Union Hero Yuri Gagarin was an astronaut who became the first human to go into outer space. Traveling in the Vostok 1 capsule, Gagarin completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961. He became an international figure by achieving this major milestone in the space race.

The son of a carpenter on a collective farm, Gagarin graduated as a molder in 1951 from a trade school near Moscow.

He continued his studies at the Industrial College in Saratov and simultaneously took a course in flight. After completing this course, he entered the Soviet Air Force Cadet School in Orenburg, from which he graduated in 1957.

Before selection for the Soviet space program with five other cosmonauts, Gagarin was stationed at Luostari Air Base near the Norwegian border.

He was physically and psychologically examined at the Central Aviation Scientific-Research Hospital in Moscow. The commission narrowed its selection to pilots between the ages of 25 and 30.

The program's chief engineer, Sergei Korolev, also specified that candidates must weigh less than 72 kg (159 lb) and not exceed 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) to fit in the confined space in the Vostok capsule; Gagarin was 1.57 m (5 ft 2 in) tall.


From a pool of 154 qualified pilots selected by their Air Force units, military physicians selected 29 cosmonaut candidates, 20 of whom were approved by the Soviet government's credentialing committee.

Gagarin was a candidate on the side of his comrades; When they were asked to vote anonymously for a candidate other than themselves they would like to fly first, the group chose Gagarin.

One of these candidates, Yevgeny Khrunov, believed that Gagarin was too focused and demanding of himself and others when needed. Eventually, the commission formally named Gagarin as the primary pilot and Titov as his backup.


On 12 April 1961 at 6:07 a.m. UTC, the Vostok 1 spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Gagarin was the first human to travel in space, using the call sign Kendra (Cedar).

Five of the first stage's engines were fired until the first separation incident, when four side boosters fell, leaving the core engine. The core stage separated while the rocket was in a sub-orbital trajectory, and the upper stage carried it into orbit.

Once the upper stage finished firing, it separated from the spacecraft, which orbited in Kazakhstan for 108 minutes before returning to Earth. Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth.


"The feeling of weightlessness was somewhat unfamiliar compared to Earth conditions. Here you feel as if you are hanging in a horizontal position in bars. You feel as if you are suspended", Gagarin said after his flight. written in the report.

He also wrote in his autobiography released the same year that he sang the song "The Motherland Hears, The Motherland Knows" during his re-entry.

Gagarin was recognized as a qualified military pilot first class and promoted to the rank of major in a particular order given during his flight.


At about 7,000 m (23,000 ft), Gagarin ejected from the descending capsule as planned and landed using a parachute.

There were concerns over Gagarin's orbital spacecraft record for duration, altitude, and lifted mass, which would not be recognized by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world governing body for setting standards and record-keeping in the field. which was necessary at that time. Pilot lands with the craft.

Gagarin and Soviet officials initially refused to admit that he had not landed with his spacecraft, a omission that became apparent four months later after Titov's flight aboard Vostok 2.


Gagarin's flight was a victory for the Soviet space program and he became a national hero of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc as well as a worldwide celebrity.

Newspapers around the world published his biography and details of his flight. He was escorted in a long convoy of high-ranking officials through the streets of Moscow to the Kremlin, where, in a grand ceremony, Nikita Khrushchev awarded him the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

Large-scale demonstrations were also held in other cities of the Soviet Union, second in scale to the victory parades of World War II.


Gagarin gained a reputation as a skilled public figure and was noted for his charismatic smile. On 15 April 1961, along with officials from the Soviet Academy of Sciences, he answered questions at a press conference in Moscow, reportedly attended by 1,000 journalists.

Gagarin visited the United Kingdom three months after the Vostok 1 mission to London and Manchester. In Manchester, despite heavy rain, he refused an umbrella, insisted that the roof of the convertible car he rode be left open, and stood so that the cheering crowd could see him.

Gagarin toured abroad widely in the years following his flight, accepting invitations from about 30 countries. In just the first four months, he also visited Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Hungary and Iceland. Because of his popularity, US President John F. Kennedy barred Gagarin from going to the United States.

Vostok 1 was Gagarin's only space flight, but he served as a backup crew for the Soyuz 1 mission, which ended in a fatal accident, killing his friend and fellow cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. Fearing that a national hero might be killed, Soviet authorities banned Gagarin from further space flights.

1 comment:

  1. Soviet Union Hero Yuri Gagarin was a cosmonaut. Don't use the American term.

    ReplyDelete

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