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Looking Back at Space Travel’s Trailblazers

Cosmonautics Day, also known as the International Day of Human Space Flight, is celebrated annually on April 12.
Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel into space aboard the Vostok spacecraft on April 12, 1961.
The Soviet Air Force pilot completed a full orbit around Earth, his flight lasting 1 hour 48 minutes.
Valentina Tereshkova, the world's first female cosmonaut, set off into space on June 16, 1963, aboard the Vostok-6 spacecraft. She completed 48 orbits around the Earth. On June 19, her descent module landed safely in the Altai Territory.
Yet another milestone in spaceflight was reached by Alexey Leonov — the first person to ever walk in space. On March 18, 1965, the Russian cosmonaut exited the spacecraft through an airlock during the Voskhod 2 mission and maneuvered outside for 12 minutes and 9 seconds.
In recognition of Gagarin's historic achievement, the UN General Assembly proclaimed April 12 the International Day of Human Space Flight on April 7, 2011.
Take a look at Sputnik's gallery to see how space travel was pioneered.
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