Unprecedented history was made on April 12Â 1961.
The whole world stood still when news reports announced that twenty-six-year-old Russian pilot and Cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin had become the first human to journey into outer space and complete an orbit of the Earth in his Vostok spacecraft.
To celebrate and pay tribute to Yuri Gagarin a tribute statue of the crusader in his full flight suit standing on a globe has been unveiled in London, next to Admiralty Arch.
The event took place in front of a host of dignitaries including the late cosmonaut’s daughter, Elena Gagarin who said just before the unveiling:
“I express my great gratitude to all Londoners and all the people of the UK.”
Westminster City Council has granted a 12-month licence for the world-famous cosmonaut’s 3.5m (12ft) statue (which was a gift from Â Roscosmos to the British Council) to stand proudly facing Captain Cook on the opposite side of The Mall.
“Russians are very proud that Yuri Gagarin was Russian, but if you look at it more philosophically, he was a delegate from the whole world to space.
“He reminds us how we must be together in the exploration of space”, added Roscosmos Popovkin.
After Yuri Gagarin’s famous, and once only space flight, Â he was awarded with many medals including the most honorable, Hero of the Soviet Union.
Yuri Gagarin died on March 27 1968 at 34-years-old when his training jet crashed.