Skip to main content

Yuri Gagarin, First Man in Space (Photo Gallery)

First Human in Space


On 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space, launched into orbit on the Vostok 3KA-3 spacecraft (Vostok 1).

Space Pioneers: Gagarin and Korolev

RSC Energia

The first human ever to fly in space, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (left), meets with spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev.

Vostok 3KA-3 Spacecraft


The Vostok 3KA-3 spacecraft (Vostok 1) awaits the launch of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, which would make him the first human to travel into space.

Yuri Gagarin: First Man in Space (Infographic)

Karl Tate/

On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the world's first space traveler. See how the first human spaceflight worked with this infographic.

History's First Human Spaceflight Blasts Off


The Soviet Union's powerful Vostok launch vehicle put cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's capsule high enough for one 108-minute orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961.

Family Man


Famed Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is seen here with daughters Yelena and Galina in an undated photo. On April 12, 1961, Gagarin became the first human to travel into space, launched into orbit on the Vostok 3KA-3 spacecraft (Vostok 1).

Looking Up

Valentina Mikhno via Russian Federal Space Agency/Roscosmos

Famed Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin - the first human in space - and others pose for a photo with a model of a winged spacecraft.

Vostok Up Close

RSC Energia

This photo released by spacecraft manufacturer RSC Energia shows the Vostok spacecraft. On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin launched into orbit on Vostok 1 to become the first human to fly in space.

Dressing in Layers

Yuri Gagarin seen dressing in a heating/cooling garment worn under his orange pressure suit.

Walking to the Launch Pad

RSC Energia

Famed Russian spacecraft S. P. Korolev (in fedora hat) and Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin walk to the launch pad on April 12, 1961 ahead of the launch of Vostok 1, which would become the first manned spaceship to send a human into space.

Almost to the Pad

RSC Energia

Russian spacecraft designer S. P. Korolev (partially obscured, in fedora hat) and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin approach the launch pad ahead of the April 12, 1961 launch of Vostok 1, the first human spaceflight.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: