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Medal, Silver and Black, Yuri Gagarin


Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Medal, Silver and Black, Yuri Gagarin

Collection Item Summary:

Commemorative and medals are one way in which Russian and Soviet leaders have recognized accomplishments and individuals in the space program. Initially limited groups of people within the space program received medals. As the space programs grew in prestige and publicity, the medals increased in numbers and played an increasing role in celebrating the accomplishments of the space program. Ultimately, medals became the currency of diplomatic gifts from the Soviet Union. High government or industry officials would give these medals as gifts to their counterparts abroad, including the United States. The typical medals had the main, commemorative theme on the front and supporting statement on the reverse.

This silver and black medal of Yuri Gagarin features an impression of his signature on the reverse side.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum



metal, aluminum?, paint


3-D: 1 x 7.6cm (3/8 x 3 in.)

Country of Origin

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics


AWARDS-Medals & Ribbons

Inventory Number