Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin
(9 March 1934 â€“ 27 March 1968)
was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.
Gagarin became an international celebrity, and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, the nation's highest honour. Vostok 1 marked his only spaceflight, but he served as backup crew to the Soyuz 1 mission (which ended in a fatal crash). Gagarin later became deputy training director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre outside Moscow, which was later named after him. Gagarin died in 1968 when the MiG 15 training jet he was piloting crashed.
Yuri Gagarin was born in the village of Klushino near Gzhatsk (renamed Gagarin in 1968 after his death), (now in Smolensk Oblast, Russia), on 9 March 1934. His parents, Alexey Ivanovich Gagarin and Anna Timofeyevna Gagarina, worked on a collective farm. Despite being identified in reports by the word usually rendered in English as "peasant", they weren't "peasants". Anna Timofeevna was well known as a voracious reader, and Aleksej Ivanovich as a skilled carpenter. Yuri was the third of four children, and his elder sister helped raise him while his parents worked. Like millions of people in the Soviet Union, the Gagarin family suffered during Nazi occupation in World War II. After a German officer took over their house, the family constructed a small mud hut where they spent a year and nine months until the end of the occupation. His two older siblings were deported to Nazi Germany for slave labour in 1943, and did not return until after the war. In 1946, the family moved to Gzhatsk.
Star Man - Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, Soviet pilot and cosmonaut was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.
Yuri Gagarin: Flight to Glory, Flight to Death
The first man in outer space was the Soviet Union's very own Yury Gagarin. On April 12, 1961 he managed a successful flight, which lasted for 108 minutes. Gagarin and his famous charming smile became the symbol of the USSR. On March 27, 1968 the star of Gagarin disappeared from the sky.
Soviet Files - Best men for Star Squad
The documentary marks the Cosmonautics day when on April 12, 1961 the first manned space flight took place! Everyone knows his name. Yury Gagarin, the first man in space. But there were 19 people more -- the members of the first cosmonauts squad. What did they have to endure before the first human being flew into space? What happened to them afterwards? Find out the secrets of the Soviet space programme and personal dramas of the star squad members.