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In orbit for Yuri's Night
© Jeff Williams/NASA
Sixty years ago today at around 9 AM Moscow time, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to get a view of Earth from space (like this one captured from the International Space Station by astronaut Jeff Williams). With the famous utterance 'Poyekhali!' ('Off we go!'), Gagarin launched into low Earth orbit in his Vostok 3KA spacecraft, making history in less than two hours with a complete trip around the planet. Landing in rural Russia, he became an instant worldwide celebrity—that is, after convincing puzzled locals he was a comrade and not a space alien.
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Quick fact:
The launchpad that Yuri Gagarin used for the world's first space flight is still in use today at Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan.
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