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April 12th, 2011
06:11 PM ET

Celebrating Spaceflight: 50 years after Gagarin

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It's hard to imagine what Yuri Gagarin was thinking on April 12, 1961. He was about to do what no human had done before: enter the heavens. What would he see? And would he survive?

Gagarin's 108-minute flight did more than carry him once around the Earth. It launched a new era in human history. 
 
A new film released on YouTube has meticulously recreated that first orbit. Every six weeks, the International Space Station passes over a similar route at the exact time of Gagarin's flight. The film says it shows Earth the same way he saw it 50 years ago.
 
So what have we achieved since?
 
If you're reading this, you probably already know the highlights of spaceflight. So instead, I want to share some of the more surprising bits of space trivia.
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Filed under: General • Space