Sixty years ago, Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. On April 11, Russians gathered to remember his achievement.
Thousands joined the celebrations in Saint Petersburg to watch a firework display, as scores of scale-model rockets were launched into the sky.
Gagarin’s achievement meant the USSR reached a significant milestone in its race with the USA to enhance its knowledge of space, but the mission didn’t go entirely to plan.
Gagarin entered into an orbit at a higher altitude than planned, meaning there was a significant risk of braking failure, which could have delayed his descent back to earth.
Had the brakes failed on his spacecraft, Gagarin would likely have remained in space for considerably longer and run out of supplies of food, drink and oxygen in the process.
Thankfully, his spacecraft operated as planned and he returned safely to earth but landed a distance away from the area marked for his landing.