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World Remembers Yuri Gagarin on 50th Anniversary of Historic Spaceflight

12. April 2011 by Christy 0 Comments

Fifty years ago today Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to journey into outer space and orbit the earth. The achievement was not forgotten and today the world is paying tribute to the man who helped launch the space era.

“I believe it was a truly revolutionary event, a highly symbolic one,” President Dmitry Medvedev said during an interview with Chinese television. “Undoubtedly, all of us - not only Russian people but also our friends abroad - will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the space flight by our distinguished first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.”

President Medvedev was right about that. Here are a few ways the world is honoring Yuri Gagarin and the anniversary of his historic flight.


  • The Expedition 27 crew aboard the International Space Station recorded a special video message, wishing the world a Happy Yuri’s Night. The diverse crew recorded their greeting in Russian, English, and Italian while wearing black Gagarin t-shirts in honor of the man who made history.
  • In Moscow, supporters laid flowers at Gagarin’s grave in the Kremlin wall. Honor guards also placed flowers around a monument dedicated to Gagarin in Star City, a metropolis located outside of the Russian capital.
  • In London, a special walk was held in the cosmonaut’s honor. Many participants toasted Gagarin’s memory with vodka before beginning the walk.
  • Today’s Google doodle (above) pays tribute to Gagarin’s monumental achievement. YouTube also created a special graphic.

After Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight on April 12, 1961, the young man became an international celebrity, traveling around the world to celebrate the Soviet Union’s amazing accomplishment. Despite Soviet officials’ best efforts to keep Gagarin safe the hero died with flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin during a routine training mission on March 27, 1968. Gagarin was just 34 years old. 

Here’s a video of Gagarin’s monumental flight.