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People in Space: The Pioneers

by Mark Hughes

In 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first person to venture beyond Earth's atmosphere. Since his journey, about 450 people – astronauts, civilians, and "space tourists" – have explored space. Follow this slideshow to learn about notable firsts for space exploration.

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Yuri Gagarin


The first human in space was Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on 12 April 1961. He orbited Earth once aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft.

Photo source: NASA

Next: Alan Shepard

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