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April 12 marks 60 years since Gagarin’s spaceflight, 40 years since shuttle debut

April 12 marks 60 years since Gagarin’s spaceflight, 40 years since shuttle debut

Source: Spaceflight Now
Date Published: 04/12/2021

Sixty years ago Monday, a 27-year-old Russian test pilot named Yuri Gagarin strapped into a Vostok capsule in Central Asia and rode into orbit atop a launcher derived from a Soviet nuclear missile, becoming the first human to travel into the void of space. Twenty years later, in 1981, the era of reusable spacecraft dawned with the first launch of NASA’s space shuttle.

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