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Juri Gagarin27. march 2011 21:09
by Gary Hudson
On the 9th of March, 1934, Juri Alexejewitsch Gagarin was born in Kluschino to a Russian carpenter, who worked with his wife on a collective farm. Juri, the third of four children spend most of his childhood in his hometown Kluschino but would later become a hero in Russia.
For part of the World War II, the village was under German occupation during which two of his siblings were taken as slaves to work for the Nazis. After the war his siblings returned and the family moved to Gschatsk where he went to middle school. In 1949, Juri started an apprenticeship which he completed in 1951.
When he went to Saratov, Juri joined a local flying club and fulfilled his childhood dream by learning how to fly. He later graduated from another aviation school and entered the Soviet Air Force in 1957. He was promoted to lieutenant and was sent to fly on the Arctic Circle. In 1959 he received the rank of Senior Lieutenant.
In 1960, Gagarin became a USSR cosmonaut as which he entered an intense training that lasted until 1961. Juri was chosen over 20 other highly qualified candidates. Juri was considered focused and was not only favored by his pears but also by the other candidates. At that time the Soviet Union was racing the USA to be the leaders in the space race.
Yuri Gagarin was sent into space on April 12th, 1961, on the Vostok 1. He was the first person to go into space and flew around the earth. For this achievement, he was declared a hero of the Soviet Union. After this accomplishment, Juri traveled all over the world to promote the Soviet achievements in the space race. In 1963, he was made colonel of the Soviet Air Force but later he went to the Schukowsky Academy to study. He wanted to qualify as a fighter pilot.
On March 27th 1968 Gagarin was on a routine training flight with his instructor Vladimir Seryogin. His instructor was considered a very experienced pilot with over 4000 hours of flying under his belt. Gagarin was the copilot of the MiG-15 when it crashed near a town Kirzhach. To this day it is still not completely clear what caused the crash of the plane.
A lot of speculations where made about wrong weather reports given by the air traffic controller or that turbulence from a SU-11 Fishpot-C interfered with the plane. There are other theories that came up but none were confirmed. After their bodies were found they were cremated and buried on the Red Square.
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