Yuri Gagarin was the first man to venture into space and return. He made his first venture into space on April 12th 1961. He went on his own in the Vostok 1 space capsules so if he didn`t come back, Russia would`ve only lost one pilot instead of multiple. His journey lasted just under two hours, not much time to carry many experiments out. It was mainly to see if a man could get up and back and live. It proved once more that Russia could and would outclass the American when it came to space exploration. It would not be until Neil Armstrong reaching the moon that America would get one back on Russia.
Yuri was born in Klushino near Moscow to a carpenter father. He moved when the Germans launched their attack on Russia. His journey from farm boy to cosmonaut was via schooling where he learnt to be a technician. After education, he became interested in flying and took lessons then joined the Russian air force. He worked his way through the air force, volunteering to be a test pilot. He got picked for space flight and took off from on Earth on the 12th April 1961 for a short journey around the Earth.
He sadly died at the age of 34 in a test flight just outside Russia. He remains one of Russian`s most highly respected and loved sons.