Vintage: 20 years since Yuri Gagarin’s flight

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A 1981 commemorative postcard with matching stamps and a first day cover – what a gem! 😀

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968) was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.

In his post-flight report, Gagarin recalled his experience of spaceflight, having been the first human in space: “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.”

Gagarin became an international celebrity, and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, the nation’s highest honour.

 

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