17:34 GMT19 October 2020
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    • 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.

    Tags:
    space exploration, space, Alexei Leonov, Yuri Gagarin, Sergei Korolyov, Russia, Soviet Union
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