34 (passed away Mar. 27th, 1968)
Mar. 9th, 1934
Klushino, Smolensk, Soviet Union [now Russia]
Yuri Gagarin's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2007 - The wonder of it all
1983 - The Right Stuff
Guest TV Roles[Complete List]
[no bio found]
- After the space flight, he became an instant, worldwide celebrity, touring widely to promote the Soviet achievement. He proved quite adept at handling the publicity. However, it appeared to gradually wear him down, and he became a heavy drinker as a result.
- Became the first human in space on April 12, 1961.
- On March 27, 1968, he was killed in a crash of a MiG-15 on a routine training flight near Moscow together with his instructor. It is uncertain what caused the crash, but a 1986 inquiry suggests that the turbulence from a Su-11 interceptor airplane using its afterburners may have caused his plane to go out of control. Weather conditions were also poor, which probably contributed to the inability of Gagarin and the instructor to correct before they crashed.
- From 1962 he served as a deputy to the Supreme Soviet, but later returned to "Star City", the cosmonaut facility, where he worked on designs for a reusable spacecraft. In 1967, he was selected as backup for the first Soyuz launch. The Soyuz capsule's parachute failed during reentry and the craft crashed, killing Vladimir Komarov.
- While in orbit he was promoted "in the field" from the lowly rank of Second Lieutenant to Major - and this was the rank at which TASS announced him in its triumphant statement during the flight.
- To commemorate his feat as a cosmonaut and being the first human in space, a crater on the moon is named after him. In July 1971 when the crew on Apollo 15 visited the moon, they left a plaque in memory of 14 men, Russians and Americans, who died in the struggle to help human-kind into Space. Gagarin was one of those names.
- Rumors that he was drunk during his fatal flight are incorrect. He passed two medical examinations before the flight, and post-mortem tests found no evidence of alcohol or drugs in his system. A new theory, advanced by the original crash investigator in 2005, hypothesises that a cabin vent was accidentally left open by the crew or the previous pilot, thus leading to oxygen deprivation and leaving the crew incapable of controlling the aircraft. The Russian press reported he stayed with the aircraft to avoid it hitting a school, although this may have been apocryphal.
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