60 years since first human spaceflight

Updated on Apr 13, 2021 08:26 AM IST
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet pilot who became the first human to enter into outer space.
Soviet cosmonaut Major Yuri Gagarin, first man to orbit the earth, is shown in his space suit. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space 60 years ago.(AP file photo)
Soviet cosmonaut Major Yuri Gagarin, first man to orbit the earth, is shown in his space suit. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space 60 years ago.(AP file photo)
Edited by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first human being to cross into outer space in his capsule Vostok 1 as many as 60 years ago.

Gagarin's spacecraft was launched on April 12, 1961 and it reached back on earth on May 3, 1961.

The 108-minute-long journey set a major milestone in the Space race between the USA and the Soviet Union.

Gagarin was 27 years old when he achieved the feat. Two days before blastoff, he even wrote a farewell letter to his wife, sharing his pride in being chosen to ride in Vostok 1 but also trying to console her in the event of his death, news agency AP reported.

“I fully trust the equipment, it mustn’t let me down. But if something happens, I ask you Valyusha not to become broken by grief,” he wrote.

Six decades after the landmark achievement, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday said the country should remain a great power in space.

"In the 21st century, Russia must retain its status as a nuclear and space power," Putin said in televised remarks.

The day of Gagarin's flight is celebrated every year in Russia as Cosmonautics Day.

(with agency inputs)

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