Fifty years ago, on April 12, 1961 Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first human to journey into outer space when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit around Earth . Gagarin was transformed into an international celebrity, and was awarded many medals and honours, including Hero of the Soviet Union.
Vostok 1 marked his only spaceflight, but he served as backup to the Soyuz 1 mission, which ended in a fatal crash. Gagarin later became deputy training director of the Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow, which was later named after him. Gagarin died in an accident in 1968 while piloting a training jet.
View ESA's Euronews video about the event: