On 12 April 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became an explorer like none other before him, going faster and further than any human in history, into what had always been the impenetrable and infinite unknown. Raised in poverty during the World War Two, the one-time foundry worker and a citizen of the Soviet Union became the first human to fly above the Earth. Dr Kevin Fong tells the story of how 27-year-old Yuri Gagarin came to launch a new chapter in the history of exploration and follows the cosmonaut’s one hour flight around the Earth.
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Yuri Gagarin was the first spaceman. This week’s special is an hour long special on that epic mission 50 years ago.
Each week, Discovery takes an in-depth look at the most significant ideas, discoveries and trends in science, from the smallest microbe to the furthest corner of space.