The earth reposed to a standstill on April 12, 1961, as we watched in awe as Soviet Cosmonaut, Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the very first of us humans to venture into outer space as well as the very first to orbit the planet. For accomplishing this brave and daunting task, in addition to receiving numerous awards and medals all over the globe recognizing his pioneering work in space travel, he was officially recognized as the Hero of the Soviet Union.
Having secured a distinctive reputation, Gagarin soon undertook employment in the Cosmonaut Training Centre just outside Moscow as Deputy Training Director. The facility was soon renamed after the hero. Gagarin met his unfortunate end during a training exercise in 1968, when he piloted a training jet only to crash it. Due to this incident, Vostok 1 was the only flight mission for Yuri Gagarin; although, he served as the backup pilot for the Soyuz-1 mission, which could have meant an earlier end for him as it also crashed.