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55th Anniversary of Human Spaceflight: Rare Photos of Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin (foreground) and his backup, German Titov, on their way to the Baikonur Space Center. 4/12/1961
Yuri Gagarin (foreground) and his backup, German Titov, on their way to the Baikonur Space Center. 4/12/1961
Yuri Gagarin (foreground) and his backup, German Titov, on their way to the Baikonur Space Center. 4/12/1961

Fifty-five years ago today (April 12), astronaut Yuri Gagarin made history, when he got into Soviet Vostok 1 spaceship capsule and launched into space. Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. We collected rare photos that illustrate his life.

Photo taken after Gagarin's landing in the Saratov region.
Photo taken after Gagarin’s landing in the Saratov region.
Yuri Gagarin immediately after landing, Saratov region, April 12, 1961
Yuri Gagarin immediately after landing, Saratov region, April 12, 1961

At the same time, people were spontaneously organizing rallies.

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Interesting fact: Reports praised Gagarin for his perfect flight, but in fact he didn’t pilot the Vostok capsule. Psychologists working with the Soviet Space Program were worried that exposure to weightlessness would impact the pilot’s decision-making faculties. And so, the pilot was effectively locked out of controlling his capsule.

Gagarin meets Khrushchev, 1961
Gagarin meets Khrushchev, 1961
On his vacation in the Crimea, 17.08.1961
On his vacation in the Crimea, 17.08.1961
Yuri Gagarin, Valentina Tereshkova and actor Vyacheslav Tikhonov. Central Television Studio 06/01/1963
Yuri Gagarin, Valentina Tereshkova and actor Vyacheslav Tikhonov. Central Television Studio 06/01/1963
Yuri Gagarin with his wife and cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov on vacation in Sochi, 20.11.1964
Yuri Gagarin with his wife and cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov on vacation in Sochi, 20.11.1964
Yuri Gagarin with a camera. On the table is a box of Japanese cameras Yashica 8, 05/01/1963
Yuri Gagarin with a camera. On the table is a box of Japanese camera Yashica 8, 05/01/1963
Gagarin with cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, 10/08/1966
Gagarin with cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, 10/08/1966
Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov after training flight in a helicopter, 01.04.1966
Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov after training flight in a helicopter, 01.04.1966
Yuri Gagarin at Carlsberg brewery in 1962
Yuri Gagarin at Carlsberg brewery in 1962
Gagarin with his daughter
Gagarin with his daughter
Yuri Gagarin meets with Castro. Havana, Cuba - 1961
Yuri Gagarin meets with Castro. Havana, Cuba – 1961
Just an hour after landing
Just an hour after landing
Gagarin in Kazan, 1967
Gagarin in Kazan, 1967

Gagarin in Artek, an international children center on the Black Sea, 1967
Gagarin in Artek, an international children center on the Black Sea, 1967

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