Yuri Gagarin

  • Yuri Gagarin in 1963
    Credit: RIA Novosti Archive
    Name: Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin
  • Born: 9th March 1934
  • Died: 27th March 1968 (aged 34)
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Occupation: astronaut, pilot
  • Time in space: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Yuri Gagarin was the first human to travel to space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth in April 1961. As a Senior Lieutenant in the Soviet Air Forces, he was selected for the Soviet Space Program, and eventually for the Vostok 1 mission.

He was awarded many medals and titles during his lifetime, including Hero of the Soviet Union, his nation's highest honour. He tragically died, alongside his co-pilot, when their aircraft crashed in 1968.