Monday, February 4, 2013

Yuri Gagarin - First Man in Space

                                               Yuri Gagarin (Ю́рий Алексе́евич Гага́рин) - the first man in space.

Yuri Gagarin (1934-68) was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. On April 12, 1961 he became the first human being in outer space.

Early life:
Yuri's was the third of four children. His family worked on a collective farm. During World War II their house was occupied by German invaders and two of his brother were deported for slave labour. After the war his family was reunited again.

Career in the Soviet Air Force
In his youth, Yuri became increasingly interested in outer space and planets. During his time at a technical high school he joined the “AeroClub” where learned to fly light aircrafts. After graduation he joined the military flight training in 1955. In 1957 he married and achieved the rank of Lieutenant in the Soviet Air Force. Two years later in 1959 he received the rank of Senior Lieutenant.

Career in the Soviet space program
Yuri and 19 other pilots were chosen for the Soviet space program in 1960. Because Yuri appeared to be very focused and physically strong he was chosen to be the pilot for the Vostok 1 program. He became the first human to travel in space and orbit the earth. After Vostok 1 he became a worldwide celebrity traveling the world. He visited Italy, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Egypt and Finland and the attention of female fans took toll on his marriage.
He began serving as a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. He worked on designs for a reusable spacecraft.
In 1962 he became Lieutenant Colonel and a year later he received the rank of Colonel of the Soviet Air Force. Soviet officials tried to keep him away from any flights, because they were worried of losing their hero in an accident.
Gagarin was backup pilot for his friend Vladimir Komarov who died in a fatal crash. As a result of the Gagarin was banned from any spaceflight participation. Later he was able to re-qualify as a fighter pilot.

On 27 March 1968, while on a routine training flight he died in a MiG-15UTI crash near the town of Kirzhach. The cause of the crash which killed Gagarin is not 100% certain. Some people think he has been a suspect of a conspiracy.

In honor Yuri Gagarin coins were minted in Russia. 


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