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Celebrating the first manned spaceflight 50 years after Yuri Gagarin's orbit

Lavochkin Museum via AP

In this April 12 1961 photo, rocket engineer Oleg Ivanovsky, right, leads Yuri Gagarin, center, to the Vostok spacecraft before the launch from what will later become known as the Baikonur cosmodrome. Ivanovsky said that designers had done their best to make the first human flight into space safe, but risks were still high. People in the background are unidentified engineers

Lavochkin Museum via AP

In this April 12 1961 photo, rocket engineer Oleg Ivanovsky pats Yuri Gagarin, left, on his helmet as he sits down in the cockpit of the Vostok spacecraft before the launch from what will later become known as the Baikonur cosmodrome. Ivanovsky said that designers had done their best to make the first human flight into space safe, but risks were still high. Russia is marking the 50th anniversary of man's first trip into space.

AFP - Getty Images

This file photo taken on April 12, 1961 shows Soviet Vostok-1 spaceship with cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on board blasts off on top of Rocket R-7 for the first manned trip into space.

AFP - Getty Images

This file photo taken on April 12, 1961 shows Soviet Vostok-1 spaceship lies at the landing site 700 km south-east of Moscow after the first manned space trip. The capsule landed empty as Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to travel into space, made a parachute jump at an altitude of 7,000 meters.

Sergei Remezov / Reuters

Honour guards place flowers around a monument dedicated to Yuri Gagarin on the eve of the Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics and the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's historic first space flight in Star City outside Moscow on April 11.

Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images

Dr Chris Welch (L) and Vix Southgate drink a toast of vodka before a walk to mark a half century since Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, in central London, on April 12, 2011. At 0907 Moscow time on April 12, 1961 Gagarin uttered the famous words "Let's Go" as the Vostok rocket, with him squeezed into a tiny capsule at the top, blasted off from the south of the Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. After a voyage lasting just 108 minutes that granted the 27-year-old carpenter's son historical immortality, Gagarin ejected from his capsule and parachuted down into a field in the Saratov region of central Russia.

Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

A woman poses with a poster depicting a space suit during celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first manned flight into space, in downtown St.Petersburg, Russia on Tuesday, April 12.

For more on the historic trip and the beginnings of the space race click here.

Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's first orbital flight made history in 1961 and set the pace for the U.S.-Soviet space race.