“When I orbited the Earth in a spaceship, I saw for the first time how beautiful our planet is. Mankind, let us preserve and increase this beauty, and not destroy it!” — Yuri Gagarin

Full Name : Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin

Born : March 9, 1934 in Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union

Died : March 27, 1968 (at the age of 34)

Nationality : Soviet

Father :  Alexey Ivanovich Gagarin

Mother :  Anna Timofeyevna Gagarina

Wife : Valentina Ivanovna Goryacheva

Space Missions : Vostok spacecraft

Famous For : First human to orbit Earth

Awards : Hero of the Soviet Union(1961), Order of Lenin(1961), Order of Karl Marx(1963) and many more

Yuri Gagarin was a was a popular Russian pilot and cosmonaut. He became an international celebrity who won several awards for his work. He was also a deputy director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre, which was named after him. Gagarin was married to Valentina Ivanovna Goryacheva in 1957. The couple had two daughters, Yelena Yurievna Gagarina is an art historian and Galina Yurievna Gagarina is a professor of economics.

7 Surprising Facts About Yuri Gagarin – First Astronaut of World :

He was the First Astronaut

Gagarin became the first man to travel into space and orbit the earth. The spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome station. Gagarin completed this task with his Vostok spacecraft, which orbited the earth in 1961.


Gagarin died in a plane crash. He was piloting the MiG-15 training jet, which unfortunately crashed. The main cause of the crash is not clear until date. According to investigations, he was given wrong weather information. The aircraft is also said to have entered a spin, which could be caused by bird strike or avoiding another aircraft.

Early Life and Education

Gagarin was the third child of his parents. During the World War II and German occupation, the family went through tough times. His two brothers were taken into slavery in Poland. After the war, Gagarin had his secondary education in Gzhatsk. He continued at the Saratov Industrial Technical School to study tractors.

Flight Training and Military Service

While at the Industrial Technical School, Gagarin underwent weekend training as a Soviet air cadet.  This was when he learned how to fly in a biplane and later Yak-18 trainer. He was drafted into the Soviet Army after his education. While there, he had further studies at the First Chkalov Air Force Pilot’s School. By 1957, he was a Lieutenant in the Soviet Air Forces.

The Soviet Space Program

Gagarin was among 19 other pilots who were chosen for the Soviet Space Program. At the end of the training, he was chosen with Gherman Titov for the first flight. The two were chosen due to their physique and agility.

Positions Held

He served as a Deputy to the Soviet of the Union in 1962. That same year he was voted to the Central Committee of the Young Communist League. He later became the Deputy Training Director of the Star City cosmonaut training base in 1963.

How Long He Spent in Space

His mission to space and orbit of the earth lasted for 108 minutes. The spacecraft was able to travel at the speed of 17,500 mph. So it was able to complete one not-quite-circular orbit within a maximum altitude of 203 miles.