Apr 12, 2021
By Andy Johnson
It was 60-years ago today that “manned space flights” began when the Soviet Union launched a Soyuz rocket with air force pilot Yuri Gagarin aboard.
The flight lasted just over an hour and involved a single orbit of the earth. But, it put the Soviet Union squarely ahead of the United States in the space race.
And Gagarin was paraded all over the world, generating publicity for the Soviet space program which continued to lead the space race until the U.S. landed a man on the moon in 1969.
Gagarin died in a plane crash seven years after his historic space flight.