09:48 GMT15 May 2021
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    • The Soviet fighter pilots who were the first members of the country's space programme: Valentin Varlamov, Yuri Gagrin, Anatoly Kartashov, Andrian Nikolayev, Pavel Popovich and Gherman Titov.
    • Gagarin undergoing vestibular training in a cosmonaut training facility.
    • Yuri Gagarin working out to make sure he was in top shape for the launch.
    • Gagarin bidding farewell to his fellow-cosmonauts before the big launch.
    • Gagarin heading to the launch pad on the bus ahead of the historic launch.
    • Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev wishes Gagarin luck before takeoff.
    • Vostok-1 takes off and flies into space. Minutes after, Gagarin makes history and becomes the first human to fly in space.
    • The 27-year-old Gagarin completed one orbit of the planet in 108 minutes. He parachuted back down to Earth after ejecting at 7 km altitude.
    • Gagarin and fellow cosmonaut Pavel Popovich (both awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union) are welcomed by crowds.
    • A reception for Gagarin in Moscow, where citizens welcomed the motorcade carrying the soviet hero.
    © Sputnik / РИА Новости
    The Soviet fighter pilots who were the first members of the country's space programme: Valentin Varlamov, Yuri Gagrin, Anatoly Kartashov, Andrian Nikolayev, Pavel Popovich and Gherman Titov.

    On this day 60 years ago, Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly into space. Not only did the cosmonaut demonstrate the brilliance of Soviet science – he showed how far humans can push their minds and bodies.

    The "Vostok-1" spacecraft was launched on the morning of 12 April 1961 at 9:07 am Moscow time from the steppes of Kazakhstan. It took off from the at the time relatively unknown Baikonur Cosmodrome – and its pilot Yuri Gagarin became the first human to journey into outer space. The event was a massive step for human space travel.

    At the beginning of the mission Gagarin was just a cosmonaut but he touched back down on Earth as a hero, and soon became a celebrity. People treated him like a rockstar – every young Soviet boy's dream was to follow in his footsteps. 

    Check out Sputnik's photo gallery to feel the emotion of this day 60 years ago, when Gagarin achieved what many thought was physically, technologically, and emotionally impossible.

    Tags:
    space flight, Yuri Gagarin, space program, space exploration, USSR
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