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Definition: Gagarin, Yuri Alekseyevich from Chambers Biographical Dictionary

1934-68

Soviet cosmonaut

Born near Gzhatsk, he joined the Soviet air force in 1957, and in 1961 became the first man to travel in space, completing a circuit of the Earth in the Vostok spaceship satellite. Nominated a Hero of the Soviet Union, he shared the Galabert Astronautical prize with John Glenn in 1963. He was killed in a plane accident while training.

  • Bizony, Piers and Doran, Jamie, Starman: The Truth behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin (1998).

Summary Article: Gagarin, Yuri Alexeyevich
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Soviet cosmonaut who on 12 April 1961 became the first human in space, aboard the spacecraft Vostok 1 (see Vostok). He completed one orbit of the Earth, taking 108 minutes from launch to landing. He died in a plane crash while training for the Soyuz 3 mission.

Born near Gzhatsk in the Smolensk region in the former USSR, Gagarin became a Soviet Air Force pilot and parachutist in 1957. He was named a ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ and became an international spokesperson for his nation's space programme. The Russian space station Salyut (Russian ‘Salute’) was named to honour his memory.

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Gagarin, Yuri

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Gagarin, Yuri, in crowd

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