Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to fly into space, was launched in a Vostok 1 space capsule on April 12, 1961. He spent 108 minutes orbiting the Earth before parachuting back to firm ground.
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Famous firsts in space

Updated 3:31 PM ET, Fri April 9, 2021

Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to fly into space, was launched in a Vostok 1 space capsule on April 12, 1961. He spent 108 minutes orbiting the Earth before parachuting back to firm ground.
Sovfoto/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Sixty years ago, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made history when he became the first man to fly into space.

Gagarin spent 108 minutes in a tiny Vostok 1 space capsule, completing an orbit around the Earth on April 12, 1961.

His groundbreaking mission raised the stakes in the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Here are some other famous firsts in the history of space exploration.