It wasn‘t just a great achievement for the Soviet Union, it was, in the words of the British astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell, ‘one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind’
Fifty years on from Yuri Gagarin becoming the first man in space, let’s remember not only an amazing scientific achievement, but also a quite special human being.
He was curious and interested in everything," remembers his daughter. "He was part of a generation that had had so few opportunities open to them and then, after the war, they were avid for everything."
You can read the whole of the Guardian’s report of an interview with Gagarin’s daughter Elena here.