Yuri Gagarin (Russian: Юрий Гагарин) was a Russian Soviet air force colonel who was the first human to be launched into space and brought back safely, having done so in 1961. Gagarin spent several hours in space and later re-entered over the Pacific Ocean. Celebrated as a national hero, he was killed in a crash in 1968. There are theories that he was not the very first human in space, and that previous, unsuccessful Soviet attempts had been covered up.

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