GAGARIN: FIRST MAN IN SPACE
Soviets stunned the world again by sending the first person into
space. On April 12, 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin circled the Earth
once in his Vostok spacecraft and returned safely. Gagarin's flight
took place a month before American astronaut Alan Shepard's suborbital
flight, and 10 months before astronaut John Glenn became the first
American to orbit the Earth. Once more, Gagarin's flight suggested
that the U.S.S.R. was well ahead in the Space Race.
used these two ID cards. One identifies him as a cosmonaut in training
(right) and the other as a member of the Communist party. He kept
the cosmonaut card in his pocket during his historic flight.
the Museum of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center, Star
delivered a speech to the Soviet State Commission on Space Flight
two days before his historic flight. In it, he thanked his colleagues
"for trusting me to be the first to fly into space," adding
that "I am glad, proud, happy--as any Soviet man would be."
Gagarin also assured his audience that "I do not doubt the successful
outcome of the flight."
page is a reproduction of Gagarin's manuscript notes for that speech.
of The Perot Foundation