Space Exploration - First human flights

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First human flights

The first successful human spaceflight was Vostok 1 ("East 1"), carrying 27 year old Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on 12 April 1961. The spacecraft completed one orbit around the globe, lasting about 1 hour and 48 minutes. Gagarin's flight resonated around the world; it was a demonstration of the advanced Soviet space program and it opened an entirely new era in space exploration: human spaceflight.


The U.S. first launched a person into space within a month of Vostok 1 with Alan Shepard's suborbital flight in Mercury-Redstone 3. Orbital flight was achieved by the United States when John Glenn's Mercury-Atlas 6 orbited the Earth on 20 February 1962. Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, orbited the Earth 48 times aboard Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963. China first launched a person into space 42 years after the launch of Vostok 1, on 15 October 2003, with the flight of Yang Liwei aboard the Shenzhou 5 (Spaceboat 5) spacecraft.

{youtube}i-nCCcGUxGE|Freedom 7 Mercury-Redstone 3, The Complete Flight Of Alan Shepard, First American In Space|,CVZm8VmMRpA|NBC News Re-broadcast coverage John Glenn 1962 Space Flight|,Hw0qo84xfGk|China's First Manned Space Flight -Yang Liwei (杨利伟) Documentary from training to launch.{/youtube}