First Human in Space
Date: 12 Apr 1961
On April 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. News of his successful launch stunned the world and
spurred the American space program to catch up.
The name of his spacecraft was Vostok 1. Vostok 1 had two sections. One section was for Yuri. The second section was for
supplies needed for Gagarin to live such as oxygen and water.
Vostok 1 circled Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour. The flight lasted 108 minutes. Vostok's reentry was
controlled by a computer. Gagarin did not land inside of Vostok 1. He ejected from the spacecraft and landed by parachute.
Born near Moscow, Russia on Mar. 9, 1934, Gagarin joined the Soviet Air Force in 1955. By 1959, he was training to be a cosmonaut. Gagarin was killed in a plane crash on Mar. 27, 1968. He was 34.
Image Credit: NASA