Yuri Gagarin with his wife Valentina and daughter Elena on the beach (June 1960)
Yuri Gagarin became the first man to be in space. 7 years after the heroic deed, he died in a mysterious plane crash.
Thanks to the 108-minute flight of the USSR, they managed to beat the United States by 3 weeks. This made Gagarin not only a Soviet, but also a world hero. Let's take a quick look at his life before the tragic event of March 27, 1968.
Gagarin was born on March 9, 1934 in the village of Klushino, distant 200 km from Moscow. His schooling was cut short after the Nazi invasion in 1941. The house was requisitioned, and the family was forced to move into the hut.
Since childhood, the future astronaut dreamed of aircraft and in 20 years joined the flight club, and then received training as a fighter pilot.
Elected to Space
As a member of the Soviet Air Force, in 1959, Gagarin volunteered to test the “new type of apparatus” with 19 other candidates. Soon the group was reduced to 6 members. In April 1961, he was chosen for the first manned mission to space. The announcement was made a few days before the flight.
April 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin prepares to start aboard Vostok-1
At that time, Gagarin was 27 years old. He had already managed to marry a nurse and have two daughters.
On April 12, at 09:07 Moscow time, Gagarin said his famous “Let's go!” And broke into orbit. At 09:12 he said: “I see the Earth. It's fine!". After a 108-minute flight that included a flight around the planet, Gagarin landed on a parachute. He became the first person to cross the border with outer space.
After 2 days, he was met in Moscow as a hero. Thousands of people took to the streets decorated with flowers and posters, and the astronaut welcomed everyone from the car.
Chained to Earth
The Soviet authorities could no longer risk such a significant figure, so they sent Gagarin on a journey through the countries to meet with important people, like Elizabeth II or Fidel Castro.
The name of Yuri Gagarin appeared in the headlines of media all over the world.
He was too precious symbol of the victory of the USSR, so he was no longer released into space. After a few years it was possible to notice that he gained weight. In addition, many wanted to drink with him, but Yuri could not refuse. Gagarin asked to cancel the ban on flights and in 1968 he was allowed to return to the aircraft.
March 27, 1968 Gagarin performed a training flight. His plane entered high-speed rotation and crashed into the ground. The astronaut and the instructor died. Circumstances were unclear, and no one raised this topic.
Official representatives of the Soviet government, along with Leonid Brezhnev, carry the coffin of Yuri Gagarin
The investigation became a state secret, because of which various conspiracy theories began to arise. Documents classified 50 years ago indicate that the most likely cause of the crash was a sharp maneuver to avoid the balloon. But questions still remain.
Tens of thousands of people came to the funeral 3 days after the accident. However, the space pioneer became immortal. He continues to live in films, posters, articles, as well as buildings and objects. The launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome and the lunar crater were named in his honor.