Tuesday, April 12, 2011
6 Surprising Facts About Yuri Gagarin's First Spaceflight
6 Surprising Facts About Yuri Gagarin's First SpaceflightAmanda Schupak Space.com space.com – Mon Apr 11, 1:00 pm ET
Fifty years ago on April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space, ushering in the era of human spaceflight.
The rocket carrying Gagarin's Vostok 1 spacecraft blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 6:07 a.m. local time at the Soviet Union launch site.
Reaching unprecedented speeds for human travel at the time, the spacecraft broke free of the Earth's gravitational pull and entered orbit around the planet, circling once before re-entering the atmosphere and landing back on Soviet soil.
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