On the anniversary of Gagarin's flight into space

Thursday, April 12, 2012
Uri Gagarin (click any image to enlarge)
On August 12, 1961 Uri Gagarin, aboard Vostok 1, took an 108 minute flight which orbited the earth once before landing in Central Russia. Gagarin became an immediate international celebrity. Tragically, Gagarin died in a plane crash in 1968.

Perhaps even more than Sputnik, Gagarin's flight added fuel to the Cold War space race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. 

At the time, because America's program seemed to lag behind the Russians, there was considerable alarm in the States over the situation. Now, we can appreciate his achievement and tip our hats to the Russian engineers who made it possible. My question -- when are we headed to Mars?

These pictures are from the EnglishRussia post Again About Him On April, 12. Follow the link for many more pictures of Gagarin, the other cosmonauts in the Vostok program as well as pictures of later Soviet space programs.