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Gagarin ready for his flight  (Source: CNET)
Gagarin died in a jet crash in 1968

It is hard to believe that with all humans have accomplished in space, that the entire history of manned spaceflight is still less than the lifespan of the average American. This week marks 50 years of manned space flight with the anniversary of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's first ever orbit of the Earth by a human.

To celebrate the 50-year anniversary YouTube has an hour and a half long movie that has footage shot from the ISS as it orbits over the approximate path that Gagarin took in 1961. The movie is called First Orbit reports the Huffington Post and the footage shows what Gagarin should have seen on his first manned space flight in history. The footage is overlaid with the audio from Gagarin's mission.

The Attic Room says of the video, "Weaving these new views together with historic voice recordings from Yuri's flight and an original score by composer Philip Sheppard, we have created a spellbinding film to share with people around the World on this historic anniversary."

The video kicks off with Gagarin stating on the launch pad, "All I have done and lived for has been lived for this moment."

Gagarin's orbit lasted 108 minutes and was aboard the spacecraft Vostok 1. Gagarin's orbit of the Earth was a major catalyst for the space race that eventually led America to shoot for the moon. Gagarin's first flight and the first satellite in space - sputnik 1 - were the highlights of the Russian space program.

CNET News reports that one major reason Russia was able to beat America into space was the way NASA had its program for manned flight laid out. NASA wanted ground stations all around the world so astronauts could be in constant communication. Russia sent Gagarin into orbit using ground stations only in Russia so the capsule was out of communication for a long period of time.

Gagarin's life was cut short on March 27, 1968 when he a flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin were killed when a MiG-15UTI crashed during a routine flight near Kirzhach. Gagarin was at the time training for his second space flight. Ironically, Gagarin's superiors had tried to keep him from flying out of fear that the national hero would be killed in a crash.





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