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Yuri Gagarin PNG Transparent Images

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Submitted by on Sep 22, 2021

On April 12, 1961, Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, became the first human to travel into space, marking a significant milestone in the Space Race. His spacecraft, Vostok 1, completed one orbit of Earth. Gagarin became a global celebrity and received several medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest honor bestowed by his country.

Gagarin was born in the Russian hamlet of Klushino and worked as a foundryman at a steel company in Lyubertsy when he was younger. Before being selected for the Soviet space program with five other cosmonauts, he joined the Soviet Air Forces as a pilot and was stationed at the Luostari Air Base near the Norwegian border. Gagarin became deputy training director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre following his space voyage, eventually named after him. In 1962, he was elected as a deputy to the Soviet Union, and subsequently to the Soviet of Nationalities, the Supreme Soviet’s lower and upper chambers, respectively.

Gagarin’s sole space trip was the Vostok 1. However, he was part of the backup crew for the Soyuz 1 mission, which resulted in a tragic disaster that killed his buddy and fellow cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. Fearing the death of a national hero, Soviet leaders barred Gagarin from further space missions. He was permitted to fly normal aircraft after finishing training at the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy in February 1968. Five weeks later, Gagarin perished when the MiG-15 training jet he was piloting with flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin crashed near Kirzhach.

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Gagarin was born on March 9, 1934, in the hamlet of Klushino, in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic’s Smolensk Oblast, near Gzhatsk (renamed Gagarin in 1968 after his death). Aleksey Ivanovich Gagarin worked as a carpenter and Anna Timofeyevna Gagarina worked as a dairy farmer on a collective farm. Yuri was the youngest of four siblings. Valentin, his older brother, was born in 1924, and by the time Yuri was born, he was already assisting with the farm’s cattle. Zoya, his younger sister, was born in 1927 and aided in “Yura” and their younger brother Boris, who was born in 1936.

Gagarin’s homeland had been the scene of several invasions of Russia and numerous battles and conquests by other powers. During World War II, his familylike millions of other Soviet Union residents, endured under Nazi occupation. The livestock of the communal farm was stolen by retreating Red Army soldiers during the German march on Moscow. The Nazis took Klushino on October 18, 1941. They set fire to the school on their first day in the village, thereby terminating Yuri’s first year of schooling. The Nazis also set fire to 27 homes in the community, forcing people, including the Gagarins, to work the farms to feed the invading troops. Those who refused were beaten or transferred to the Gzhatsk detention camp.

A German officer took over the Gagarin house. The family was allowed to build a mud cabin on the property behind their house, measuring roughly 3 by 3 metres (10 by 10 feet), in which they stayed 21 months until the occupation ended. Yuri became a saboteur at this time, especially when one of the German troops, whom the children dubbed “the Devil,” attempted to hang his younger brother Boris from an apple tree with the boy’s scarf. In response, Yuri disrupted the soldier’s job by pouring soil into the tank batteries gathered to be recharged and mixing the various chemical materials for the operation at random. His two elder siblings were transported to Poland by the Germans for forced labor in early 1943. They fled and were apprehended by Soviet forces, who enlisted their assistance in the war effort. They did not return to the United States until 1945, after the war had ended.

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