17:34 GMT19 October 2020
Listen Live
    • Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov training in the centrifuge
    • Cosmonaut Shonin training
    • Cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Valery Bykovsky in the gym
    • Cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov on the airfield
    • Cosmonauts Pavel Popovich, left, and Andriyan Nikolayev during an astronavigation class.
    • Soviet space pilot, Hero of the Soviet Union and spacecraft commander Colonel Viktor Gorbatko (right) and onboard engineer Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Glazkov (left) - in preflight training.
    • Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov
    • Prospective Pilot-Cosmonauts examine space technology
    • Cosmonaut Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov before training on the centrifuge.
    • First Soviet cosmonaut squad
    • Soviet pilot-cosmonauts in the Cosmos pavilion at VDNKh
    • Pilot-Cosmonaut Andriyan Nikolayev inside Vostok spacecraft simulator
    • Pavel Belyayev, Vladimir Komarov and Alexei Leonov
    • Yuri Gagarin and German Titov
    • Landing of 'Vostok-1 spacecraft in which Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth on April 12, 1961.
    • Red carpet welcome of The First pilot-cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union Yuri Gagarin.
    • Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov taking a space walk
    • The Vostok-1 space ship with the world's first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin before the start.
    • Crew members of space ship Voskhod
    • German Titov putting on a cosmonaut suit
    © Sputnik / Alexander Mokletsov
    By the end of 1950s, the Soviet Union’s science level had reached a remarkable level and the government decided to have a go at a human space flight and select candidates.

    Above: Soviet pilot-cosmonaut Alexei Leonov training in the centrifuge at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.

    On March 7, 1960, the Soviet Union completed the formation of its first squad of cosmonauts, paving the way for space exploration. Just a year later, Yuri Gagarin, one of the team’s members, became the first human to enter space.

    space exploration, space, Alexei Leonov, Yuri Gagarin, Sergei Korolyov, Russia, Soviet Union
    Community standardsDiscussion

    More photos

    • A Palestinian boy walks past street art showing a malevolent coronavirus, in Gaza city on 22 September 2020.
      Last update: 11:20 GMT 19.10.2020
      11:20 GMT 19.10.2020

      Art Goes Viral: COVID-Themed Graffiti From Around the Globe

      40 million infected and more than a million dead. These mind-boggling numbers were unimaginable just 10 months ago, when the mysterious bug only began its ominous spread. However, nowadays the world is learning to deal with the pandemic - including through art.

    • Halloween decorations are seen at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen during the Danish giant pumpkin championships, 10 October 2020.
      Last update: 11:55 GMT 18.10.2020
      11:55 GMT 18.10.2020

      New Masks for Fall 2020: How Different Countries Prepare for Halloween

      Halloween is celebrated every year on 31 October, on the eve of All Saints' Day, traditionally considered the only day of the year when the spirits of the dead can return to Earth. Have a look how people around the world are preparing for Halloween in Sputnik’s photo gallery.

    • Cadet from the Ryazan Guards Higher Airborne Command School during horse riding practice.
      Last update: 14:16 GMT 17.10.2020
      14:16 GMT 17.10.2020

      No Time to Horse Around: Russian Female Cadets Show Off Riding Skills

      Cavalry might seem a little outdated in the 21st century, but yet there is a certain beauty, elegance, and charm in riding on horseback, especially if the rider is a lady in uniform.

    • This Week in Pictures: 10 - 16 October
      Last update: 14:47 GMT 16.10.2020
      14:47 GMT 16.10.2020

      This Week in Pictures: 10 - 16 October

      While the world is fighting the pandemic, with countries introducing more and more restrictions to curb the disease, people are continuing to enjoy their everyday lives: numerous political rallies, sporting events, and festivals have been held across the globe.