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Yuri Gagarin

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Fifty years ago today Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, was killed in a MiG-15 trainer crash which has never been fully explained. Rumour has it that he never flew in space again by order of the Kremlin, who did not want to risk losing such a Hero of the Soviet Union in a spaceflight accident.


I wonder what Gagarin would have thought of today's space programme. Would he have been surprised how far we have come, with a space station the size of a football pitch permanently manned by crews from all over the world for more than seventeen years? Or would he have expected us to have gone even further, with colonies on the Moon and footprints on Mars? We can never know. But we can never forget that of the 556 people (as of today) who have flown in space, he was the very first.


Someone who truly did boldly go where no man had gone before.

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