Back in 1955, there was the so-called “Race to Space”, led by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the United States of America. On April 12, 1961 a Soviet-Russian rocket made it and it was the first time the humans crossed into the outer space. Today, 55 years later, we still remember that day.

On March 27, 1968, the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, died. He was in a MiG-15 on a routine training flight with his instructor when his plane crashed. Credit: Pics About Space

It was Yuri Gagarin, a USSR cosmonaut who became the first human aboard the Vostok-1 in space 55 years ago, becoming a hero for his fellow comrades. “Poehali!” (Let’s go!) were the words he said before taking off on the spaceship, and after 108 minutes on the Vostok-1 orbiting the Earth, he reentered the Earth by the Soviet Union, being ejected from the spacecraft at 7,000 meters (23,000 ft) and landing by parachutes.

He earned a godlike status in Russia: streets were named after him, monuments all over Russia, even it was called by the then-president of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev the “Russian Christopher Columbus”, but less than seven years after becoming a part of the space history, Gagarin died in a plane crash back on March 27th 1968 at a routine training flight.

Only soviet-sponsored reports are known, being the most relevant from the KGB that throws up explanations and conspiracy theories of “how 2 experienced pilots suddenly felt out of the sky?”

Last fly for the spaceman

Gagarin was at Chkalovsky Airport, about 20 miles northeast of Moscow, where he has his retraining as a fighter pilot where he was scheduled to fly three practice missions in a Russian MiG-15, two by his own and one with Seryogin that was the first flight of the day.

Gagarin and Seryogin took off in the two-seater jet and headed to the flight zone in rainy and windy weather conditions – not the best conditions to fly. A few minutes later around 10 a.m., Gagarin came over the radio to say he’d completed the exercise, which included barrel rolls and vertical loops, and was heading back to base. After that, the radio silenced.

Ten minutes passed since then and no sighting or communication with the aircraft was made after it. The base dispatched rescue teams to seek the jet and around 3 p.m., crews found the burning, charred plane among the trees and snow of the Russian countryside. The only body that was identified was Seryogin one, and the next day Gagarin remains were found not so far from the plane’s impact zone.

Source: Russia beyond the Headlines