Yuri Gagarin: First man in space

The first man in space

(SOUNDBITE) (RUSSIAN) COSMONAUT YURI GAGARIN SAYING:

''I am immeasurably happy, that my dear homeland was the first in the human history to enter space.''

Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin won a place in history

when he became the first man in space on April 12, 1961

The Vostok spaceship, piloted by Gagarin,

completed one orbit of the Earth

The flight lasted 108 minutes

with a maximum distance from Earth of 203 miles

Gagarin was named a Hero of the Soviet Union

His exploit captured the world’s imagination

and fueled a space race with the United States