ISS007-E-10807 - On April 12th, 1961, Soviet
Alexseyevich Gagarin became the
first human in space.
His remotely controlled
spacecraft lofted him to an
altitude of 200 miles and carried
him once around planet Earth.
Commenting on the first
from space he reported, "The sky
is very dark; the Earth is bluish.
Everything is seen very clearly".
view could have resembled
image taken in 2003 from the International
Shepard, the first US astronaut,
would not be launched until almost a month later and then
on a comparatively short suborbital flight.
Born on March 9, 1934, Gagarin
was a military pilot before being
chosen for the first group of cosmonauts in 1960.
As a result of his
flight he became an
hero and legend.
Killed when his MIG jet
crashed during a training
flight in 1968, Gagarin was given a hero's funeral,
his ashes interred in the Kremlin
Twenty years later, on yet another April 12th, in 1981, NASA launched
April 12 APOD