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Cosmonautics Day

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Yury Gagarin visits United Kingdom
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Yury Gagarin visits United Kingdom

Yury Gagarin (1934-1968), Soviet cosmonaut and first man in space, driving through London, UK, in an open-top car. Gagarin made the first manned space flight on 12 April 1961. He orbited the Earth once in the Vostok 1 spacecraft, a flight that lasted 1 hour and 48 minutes. Gagarin became a hero in the Soviet Union and famous worldwide. He later returned to active service as a test pilot, dying in a crash during a training flight in 1968. His ashes were interred with full military honors in the Kremlin Wall. Photographed in July 1961.

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