fifty years ago March 29, 1968 Archives

From the Archives (March 29,1968): Gagarin killed in test flight

Soviet Cosmonaut, Colonel Yuri Gagarin, the world’s first spaceman, was killed during a test flight yesterday [March 27] nearly seven years after his historic orbit of the earth aboard Vostok-1. Another flyer, Colonel Vladimir Seryogin, died in the accident, according to a brief official announcement, which gave a few details of the disaster and did not say where it took place. The announcement, broadcast intermittently by Moscow Radio amidst the playing of solemn music, said the two men would be buried in a place of honour at the Kremlin Wall after a State funeral. When Colonel Gagarin returned to earth from his flight round the world on April 12, 1961, he was feted by the country’s then leader, Mr. Nikita S. Khrushchev, now living in retirement outside Moscow. Col. Gagarin’s death was the second tragedy known to have hit the Soviet space programme within a year. Col. Vladimir Komarov was killed on April 24, 1967, when his Soyuz spacecraft crashed to earth. He is the first Soviet cosmonaut known to have been killed in an aviation accident. The Soviet Union does not publicly identify cosmonaut trainees, so it is not known if any of them might have died accidentally. Col. Gagarin’s historic flight on April 12, 1961, made him a hero among the Soviet people and around the world.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 1:26:57 PM |

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