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Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin
Born: March 9, 1934
Died: March 27, 1968

 

Birthplace: Kulshino Russia (Known as Gagarin)

Why Famous? The first human to journey into outer space.

Yuri-Gagarin 1

Gagarin came from humble beginnings to become one of Russia’s most celebrated citizens. He was born in Kulshino Russia (renamed Gagarin after his death) to a farm family on March 9th 1934.  After surviving the horrors of the German invasion of Russia during World War II, Yuri entered local vocational school to learn become a foundry man. In 1950 he moved near Moscow to work at the Lybertsy Steel Plant. While an apprentice, his talents earned him a chance to further his studies at the nearby Saratov Technical Institute. While there, Gagarin developed a love for aviation and volunteered on weekends as Soviet air cadet at a nearby flying school. After Saratov, Gagarin was drafted into the Soviet air force in 1955. By 1957 he had rapidly risen to the rank Senior Lieutenant. In 1960, he was selected as one of two twenty pilots to participate in the top secret Soviet space program and was chosen to pilot the maiden voyage of Vostok 1. After his successful journey, Gagarin became an international superstar and traveled throughout the world (but not to United States) to promote the Soviet Union’s successful space program.

Gagarin’s interview on the BBC TV July 11,  1961

He continued to serve as a high ranking official within the Soviet Air Force and the Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow. He tragically and mysteriously died just shy of the Vostok 1 mission‘s seventh anniversary on March 27th 1968 when his MiG-15 jet crashed during a routine training flight.

Further Reading….Here’s an article that discusses the mysterious circumstances around the death of Yuri Gagarin.

http://news.discovery.com/space/history-of-space/the-story-of-gagarins-death-130619.htm

Sources:

“Yuri Gagarin…The First Man in Space About.com.  InterActiveCorp, John P. Mills PhD n.d.  Web. 23 October 2013  http://space.about.com/od/deceasedcosmonauts/a/Yuri-Gagarin-The-First-Man-In-Space.htm

“Yuri Gagarin…His life in Pictures” Russian Archives Online,  Archive Media Project, . n.d  Web. 24 October 2013 http://www.russianarchives.com/gallery/gagarin/

“The Real Story Behind Yuri Gagarin’s Death” news.discovery.com, Discovery News, Amy Shira Teitel  19 June 2013 Web. 27 October 2013 http://news.discovery.com/space/history-of-space/the-story-of-gagarins-death-130619.htm

”Yuri Gagarin” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 26 October 2013 Web. 27 October 2013 http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youri_Gagarine

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