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50th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight into space



 Image credit: RIA Novosti 

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On 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin made the first human flight in space. 12 April 2011 was the 50th anniversary of this event.

The 11th - 15th July saw the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's visit to the UK.

To celebrate Gagarin's achievement and his visit to the UK, a statue of Gagarin was unveiled on The Mall, outside the British Council's offices (opposite the statue of Cook) by Gagarin's eldest daughter, Elena Gagarina and HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

 This statue will be in situe for a year, before finding a permanent home at a currently unknown site in the UK.

The @YuriGagarin50 Twitter feed continues to Tweet information of Gagarin's world tour, as it happened 50 years ago, as well as other related and spacey information.



The First Orbit 2012 project, to release the film as a multi-language DVD and BluRay is now complete. To purchase your copy please go to

The First Orbit Team and YuriGagarin50 would like to thank you for your continued support.


Other News: Due to the amazing sales last year of Yuri Gagarin - the First Spaceman - Limited edition picture book written for children, suitable for all ages by Vix Southgate. Stocks are almost gone. Copies are still available from Amazon or directly from the Author's website



ON-GOING - The statue of Yuri Gagarin

The statue is situated outside the British Council offices on THE MALL where it will remain for a year.

The British Council also has a Gagarin in Britain exhibition at their offices. Please note the opening times for Gagarin in Britain are from 4-5pm on Tuesdays and Fridays ONLY. Due to security restrictions at the British Council offices, all visitors must pre-register their visit by emailing us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

To accompany the statue unveiling and the exhibition, the British Council has published Gagarin in Britain, an extensively illustrated, 160-page catalogue, exploring the life of Yuri Gagarin, his visit to Britain in July 1961, and the legacy of the Russian space programme. The catalogue is edited by Andrea Rose, Director of Visual Arts at the British Council, and includes texts by Piers Bizony, biographer of Yuri Gagarin; Dr. Christopher Riley, writer and filmmaker; Vix Southgate, author of Yuri Gagarin: The First Spaceman; and Dr. Svetlana Boym, Curt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literatures at Harvard University. Illustrations include technical drawings from the Moscow State Archive for Scientific and Technical Documentation showing the development of the parachute and ejector seat equipment that have never been published before in the West. Priced at £25, the catalogue will be available for purchase from Cornerhouse Publications online at




Fifty Years of Human Spaceflight – BBC World Service examines Gagarin's Legacy  

First Orbit - watch the most talked about event on YouTube  



YuriGagarin50 special events on 12th April included: 


The Yuri Walk - join us on the South Bank at 7:07am BST to toast Gagarin at the exact time of his launch

Rockets for Yuri - take part in a mass rocket launch at 12 noon BST

First Orbit - see screenings of Chris Riley's new 'First Orbit' film on BBC big screens across the UK and on YouTube

IET Yuri Gagarin Lecture - A celebration of manned space flight – past, present and future

Commemorating Gagarin in London: On 14th July 2011, a statue of Gagarin will be unveiled in the Mall in London, opposite the statue of Captain Cook and outsite the British Council offices.  The statue is a gift from the Roscosmos Space Agency to the British Council.  Read more

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12 April 2011 YuriGagarin50 supporters toast Gagarin at 7:07AM BST, exactly 50 years after his launch and take part
in the Yuri Walk on the South Bank, London

BBC Russian Service coverage of the Yuri Walk: is a portal celebrating Yuri Gagarin's flight into space. | login