10 Facts You Didn't Know About First Man in Outer Space Yuri Gagarin

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The first man in outer space, Yuri Gagarin, was born on March 9, 1934. Gagarin entered history on April 12, 1961 when the spacecraft "Vostok-1" with the Soviet cosmonaut on board was launched from the Baikonur space center. Sputnik presents you a photo gallery with unknown facts about the legend of space exploration.

The first man in outer space, Yuri Gagarin, was born on March 9, 1934. Gagarin entered history on April 12, 1961 when the spacecraft "Vostok-1" with the Soviet cosmonaut on board was launched from the Baikonur space center. Sputnik presents you a photo gallery with unknown facts about the legend of space exploration.

 

© Sputnik / Sverdlov / Go to the mediabankThe flight of "Vostok-1" was absolutely automatic as nobody could give a guarantee that the cosmonaut would be able to work in the conditions of weightlessness. Gagarin was given a special code that allowed activation of manual controls of the spaceship in an emergency situation.

Above: Yuri Gagarin in engineering laboratory of Cosmonaut training center, Star City, 1964.
10 Facts You Didn't Know About First Man in Outer Space Yuri Gagarin - Sputnik International
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The flight of "Vostok-1" was absolutely automatic as nobody could give a guarantee that the cosmonaut would be able to work in the conditions of weightlessness. Gagarin was given a special code that allowed activation of manual controls of the spaceship in an emergency situation.

Above: Yuri Gagarin in engineering laboratory of Cosmonaut training center, Star City, 1964.
© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankThree variants of the Soviet news agency's report on the first manned flight into space were prepared. The first - in case of success of the mission; the second - if the spacecraft did not go into orbit and falls somewhere in a forest or an ocean (this news contained a call for help to find the cosmonaut); the third - about the tragic death of the first cosmonaut.

Above: Yuri Gagarin bidding farewell to friends before flying to space. A still from the film "10 Years of the Space Exploration Era."
Yuri Gagarin bidding farewell to friends before flying to space. A still from the film 10 Years of the Space Exploration Era - Sputnik International
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Three variants of the Soviet news agency's report on the first manned flight into space were prepared. The first - in case of success of the mission; the second - if the spacecraft did not go into orbit and falls somewhere in a forest or an ocean (this news contained a call for help to find the cosmonaut); the third - about the tragic death of the first cosmonaut.

Above: Yuri Gagarin bidding farewell to friends before flying to space. A still from the film "10 Years of the Space Exploration Era."
© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankGagarin launched from the Baikonur space center at the rank of lieutenant and landed being the most famous major in the world.
10 Facts You Didn't Know About First Man in Outer Space Yuri Gagarin - Sputnik International
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Gagarin launched from the Baikonur space center at the rank of lieutenant and landed being the most famous major in the world.
© Sputnik / Yuryi Abramochkin / Go to the mediabankTwo days before his flight, Yuri Gagarin wrote a farewell letter to his wife in case of an accident. Gagarin's wife Valentina received this letter not in 1961, but after a flight accident in 1968 that claimed the life of her husband.

Above: Yuri Gagarin with his wife Valentina.
10 Facts You Didn't Know About First Man in Outer Space Yuri Gagarin - Sputnik International
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Two days before his flight, Yuri Gagarin wrote a farewell letter to his wife in case of an accident. Gagarin's wife Valentina received this letter not in 1961, but after a flight accident in 1968 that claimed the life of her husband.

Above: Yuri Gagarin with his wife Valentina.
© AP PhotoAlthough Gagarin was one of the ideals of a Soviet person, he was a believer and offered to restore the ruined Temple of Christ the Savior, speaking at a meeting of the Central Committee in 1964.

Above: Yuri Gagarin waves after he arrived at the London Airport, July 1, 1961 for a private visit as the guest of the Russian Trade fair.
10 Facts You Didn't Know About First Man in Outer Space Yuri Gagarin - Sputnik International
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Although Gagarin was one of the ideals of a Soviet person, he was a believer and offered to restore the ruined Temple of Christ the Savior, speaking at a meeting of the Central Committee in 1964.

Above: Yuri Gagarin waves after he arrived at the London Airport, July 1, 1961 for a private visit as the guest of the Russian Trade fair.
© AP Photo / Bob DearWhen Gagarin visited Britain, Queen Elizabeth II made a photo with the cosmonaut contrary to etiquette. She explained this move by saying that Gagarin was not an ordinary man, but a man from space.

Above: Major Yuri Gagarin holds a gold medal of the British Interplanetary Society after it was awarded to him at the Soviet exhibition in Earls court, London, United Kingdom on July 11, 1961.
10 Facts You Didn't Know About First Man in Outer Space Yuri Gagarin - Sputnik International
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When Gagarin visited Britain, Queen Elizabeth II made a photo with the cosmonaut contrary to etiquette. She explained this move by saying that Gagarin was not an ordinary man, but a man from space.

Above: Major Yuri Gagarin holds a gold medal of the British Interplanetary Society after it was awarded to him at the Soviet exhibition in Earls court, London, United Kingdom on July 11, 1961.
© Sputnik / Alexander Mokletsov / Go to the mediabankYuri Gagarin was a family man. He was married young and had two daughters. His younger daughter was born about a month before his historic flight.

Above: Yuri Gagarin playing with his daughters Galina and Yelena.
10 Facts You Didn't Know About First Man in Outer Space Yuri Gagarin - Sputnik International
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Yuri Gagarin was a family man. He was married young and had two daughters. His younger daughter was born about a month before his historic flight.

Above: Yuri Gagarin playing with his daughters Galina and Yelena.
© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankWhen the cabin started to crackle in flames and melting metal was running over the illuminator, while entering the atmosphere, Gagarin really believed that his mission was ending.

Above: Yuri Gagarin before a space flight aboard the Vostok spacecraft, April 12, 1961.
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When the cabin started to crackle in flames and melting metal was running over the illuminator, while entering the atmosphere, Gagarin really believed that his mission was ending.

Above: Yuri Gagarin before a space flight aboard the Vostok spacecraft, April 12, 1961.
© Sputnik / I. Snegirev / Go to the mediabankGagarin was born in the Smolensk Region, a territory that was occupied by the Nazis for over a year during WWII. This fact about the first man in outer space used to be a secret in the Soviet times.

Above: The USSR pilot-cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin with his mother Anna and father Alexey Gagarin.
10 Facts You Didn't Know About First Man in Outer Space Yuri Gagarin - Sputnik International
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Gagarin was born in the Smolensk Region, a territory that was occupied by the Nazis for over a year during WWII. This fact about the first man in outer space used to be a secret in the Soviet times.

Above: The USSR pilot-cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin with his mother Anna and father Alexey Gagarin.
© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankThe selection of candidates for cosmonauts was carried out by an ad hoc group of experts. Psychologists noted the following character traits of Yuri Gagarin: "In sports games Yuri is a leader. His will to win, sense of purpose, spirit of competition, sense of team explain that. His favorite word is "work." He is self-confident in his skills. Gagarin is open-hearted, polite, tactful and punctual. He has excellent memory, high intellectual development. He will defend his point of view despite everything if he considers it a right thing."

Above: Yury Gagarin (left) meeting with British Labour politician Hugh Gaitskell.
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The selection of candidates for cosmonauts was carried out by an ad hoc group of experts. Psychologists noted the following character traits of Yuri Gagarin: "In sports games Yuri is a leader. His will to win, sense of purpose, spirit of competition, sense of team explain that. His favorite word is "work." He is self-confident in his skills. Gagarin is open-hearted, polite, tactful and punctual. He has excellent memory, high intellectual development. He will defend his point of view despite everything if he considers it a right thing."

Above: Yury Gagarin (left) meeting with British Labour politician Hugh Gaitskell.
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