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Definition: Gagarin, Yuri Alekseyevich from Chambers Biographical Dictionary


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.


Gagarin, Yuri


Gagarin, Yuri, in crowd

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