The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)

Russia celebrates 60th anniversar­y of historic first human space flight


Russians are commemorat­ing the achievemen­ts of Yuri Gagarin, the cosmonaut who became the first person in space 60 years ago.

Gagarin’s 108-minute mission on April 12, 1961, took the space age to a new level and marked a historic achievemen­t for the then Soviet Union, which beat the United States in a tight race to launch a man beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.

For the Soviet people, Gagarin’s space flight was a triumph comparable to the victory over the Germans in the Second World War.

It has remained a source of national pride in Russia ever since, a symbol of the country’s bravery and technologi­cal prowess.

Gagarin died in a training jet plane crash just seven years after he orbited the planet, but the first monuments glorifying him and his

pioneering achievemen­t were erected while he was still alive.

He was buried near the Kremlin Wall alongside former Soviet leaders.

The field near Moscow where his plane crashed also has a memorial.

Other Gagarin monuments include a statue in Star City, home to the space flight training centre just outside the

capital where Gagarin and many other cosmonauts lived.

A statue of Gagarin also marks the Baikonur space launch facility, the place he blasted off from in then Soviet Kazakhstan.

A field near the Volga River where Gagarin landed after his historic 1961 flight bears an obelisk, and a Gagarin statue added later.

 ??  ?? Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space in April 1961.
Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space in April 1961.

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