Explorers Heroes

Yuri Gagarin

by Lucia from Columbia

Yuri Gagarin (
Yuri Gagarin (

Have you ever wondered how it feels to be in space? Yuri Gagarin was the first man to find out how does it felt to be in space. He became the first popular cosmonaut after he landed it on the ground. Many people wanted to go to the space after Yuri Gagarin got back to home land.

Yuri Gagarin was born in the village of Klushino on March 9, 1934. Gagarin was the third of four children. His elder sister would always help his parents to look out for him, because his parents didn’t have time to take care of him. His mother was a voracious reader, and his father was a skilled carpenter. When German officers took over Gagarin’s family house, they lived at the small mud hut. They stayed there for a year and nine months. Also Yuri’s older two siblings were taken by Nazi Germans for slave labor. Yuri went to a vocation technical school for a year and then he was selected for further training at a technical high school. That’s where he learned how fly a light aircraft. He finished his technical school in 1955 and then he entered the military flight training at the Orenburg Pilot’s school. That is where Yuri met his wife Valentina Goryacheva. They got married in 1957(

Yuri’s mission was to be the first person to be able to see how it feels to be in the space. He became the first man to travel into space on April 12, 1961. The name of the spaceship that he used is Vostok 3KA-3 or as Russian people said, “Vostok 1”. He realized that he wanted to go into space after he was done with his first year at technical school. He really didn’t think that he would be able to get to his dream, but he studied really hard about space and spaceships. Nobody really helped him on that. Yuri just knew it that he would be able to do what he wanted to do. After Yuri’s first flight into to space he said, “The feeling of weightlessness was somewhat unfamiliar compared with Earth conditions. Here, you feel as if you were hanging in a horizontal position in straps. You feel as if you are suspended” ( After Yuri’s flight some sources said that Gagarin said, “I don’t see any good up here.” They were trying to make people to stop thinking that he was a hero but in 2006 his friend Colonel Valentin Petrov, said that, Gagarin never said such words ( Petrov also said that Gagarin had been baptized into the Orthodox Church as a little kid. Also Gagarin and 19 other pilots were chosen for the Soviet space program. Out of 19 selected, the eventual choices for the first launch were Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov. They were chosen because of their performance in training. During reentry Gagarin had whistled the tune, “The motherland hears, the motherland knows.” Gagarin had told this to his leader Nikita Khrushchev (

1 ruble coin of nickel (
1 ruble coin of nickel (

Later Gagarin returned to space tormented with tragedy. What caused Yuri Gagarin’s plane to go out of control? Some scientists think that the turbulence from a Su-11, “Fishpot-C”. That may have caused the plane to crash. After Gagarin had passed away, Soviet Union had made 1 ruble coin of nickel and 3 rubles coin of silver ( In 2008, the Continental Hockey league named their championship trophy, “The Gagarin Cup.”

Gagarin is a hero to me because he was brave enough to be the first man to fly into space. He had no idea what could happened to him while he was there, or while he was in the space ship. I also like him because he didn’t give up on his dream, even though he knew that it is really hard to get into the technical school, but he was strong enough to make himself to go and study. Gagarin changed the world by proving that everybody can go into space.

Page created on 9/17/2011 2:53:18 PM

Last edited 9/17/2011 2:53:18 PM

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