The date 12 April 1961 the event First man to travel in space the man Yuri Alexeivich Gagarin (1934 1968), a Russian cosmonaut.
Beating the American space programme was one of the main targets of the Russian space industry, a race which they won with Yuri Gagarin at the controls. Yuri, the third son of a carpenter was born on the 9 March 1934. in Klushino, Smolensk, situated 100 miles west of Moscow. When he reached the sixth grade in school his interest in physics began.
He joined a foundry as an apprentice after leaving school and, using his evenings, graduated with a diploma. In 1955 Yuri earned his wings at the Saratov Flying School. He wrongly believed that with this licence, once he had transferred to the Military aviation club, he would be allowed to fly the jets he had long admired. But initially it was not to be, He actually had to learn flying all over again, the military way. He also learned the art of parachuting, which was to come in handy upon his return to earth many years later.
Yuri was a fun loving man who enjoyed the good things in life including, perhaps understandably, fast cars. However, what set him apart from the other cosmonauts when he joined the Soviet space programme was his calmness and attention to detail and the fact that he always devoted himself entirely to the cause. During his 108-hour flight on the 12 April 1961, he gathered enough detail and data to keep the Soviet scientists busy for years.
Similarly, on that day Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, the first Russian in space. He became in that instant a legend amongst men, a man who changed the course of history and one of the few Russians who could say that he had beaten the Americans. Though has passed away in 1968 his name and his memory will live through the future. Yuri Gagarin, the first man in Space.