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Yury Gagarin: A Cosmonaut's Life On Earth
March 08, 2019 09:41 GMT
Cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, the first person in space, was born 85 years ago, on March 9, 1934. As a young man, he experienced a meteoric rise from tradesman and tractor specialist to pilot, cosmonaut, and Hero of the Soviet Union.
Yury Gagarin poses on a beach with his wife, Valentina, and their daughter Yelena in June 1960, less than a year before he made history as the first person to travel into space.
Gagarin was born in the village of Klushino, in Smolensk Oblast, on March 9, 1934. This photograph was taken in 1946 in Gzhatsk, where his family moved after the war.
Gagarin, on the far left, with his volleyball team in 1950. He remained short as an adult, reaching 157 centimeters.
Gagarin at the foundry department of the Lyubertsy Steel Plant in 1951. He graduated from trade school as a foundryman and later pursued his studies at the Saratov Technical College, where he specialized in tractors.
Gagarin is pictured in Saratov in 1955, where he joined the local flight club. He later enrolled in the Orenburg Pilot School. Gagarin was a good student, but had difficulties landing a plane, which nearly led to his expulsion. His short stature might have interfered with his angle of view while he was in the cockpit; sitting on a thick seat cover helped him learn to land correctly.
Gagarin suits up at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. On April 12, 1961, he became the first human to reach space. He completed one orbit around the Earth in the Vostok-1 space capsule.
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev joins Gagarin's parents, Anna and Aleksei, at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on April 14, 1961, after his safe return from his historic space flight.
Gagarin and Khrushchev ride in a celebratory motorcade during the cosmonaut's official welcome to Moscow on April 14, 1961.
People in the Smolensk region give the cosmonaut a hero's welcome on June 16, 1961.
The cosmonaut meets Cuban leader Fidel Castro during a visit to Havana on June 23, 1961.
Gagarin leaves Buckingham Palace in London on July 14, 1961, after lunch with Queen Elizabeth II.
Newborn babies lie under portraits of Soviet cosmonauts in Moscow on February 8, 1963, with Gagarin's photo in the middle. In the 1960s, Yury became one of the most popular boy's names in the Soviet Union.
Gagarin congratulates cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova and Andriyan Nikolayev on their marriage on November 3, 1963, several months after Tereshkova became the first woman in space.
Gagarin and fellow cosmonauts Vladimir Komarov and Andriyan Nikolayev during a hunting trip on October 1, 1964
Gagarin plays with his daughter Yelena at home on March 10, 1964.
The Gagarins dance at the Kremlin Palace of Congresses in Moscow on January 1, 1965.
Gagarin and fellow cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov welcome new cosmonauts to the training center in Star City near Moscow during a costume party on April 12, 1965.
A TV crew from Czechoslovakia films an interview with Gagarin in the Moscow region on October 18, 1965.
Gagarin, dressed as a musketeer, is pictured with his younger daughter Galina, Ira Komarova, and his older daughter Yelena on December 31, 1965.
Gagarin participates in a class at the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy in Moscow on February 19, 1966.
Gagarin's widow, Valentina, touches his portrait during his funeral at the Kremlin on March 30, 1968. Gagarin and a co-pilot died in a crash during a training flight, the cause of which remains unclear.
Yury Gagarin: A Cosmonaut's Life On Earth
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