GALLERY: When First Spaceman Yuri Gagarin Visited Prague

Gagarin prague

Russians on Monday celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first manned flight to space carried out by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin as the Soviet hero remains one of the most admired figures in the country.

On April 12, 1961, Gagarin’s Vostok spacecraft took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union, as the 27-year-old cosmonaut exclaimed his iconic catchphrase “Let’s go!”.

His flight lasted just 108 minutes, the time it took to complete one loop around the Earth, before returning to home soil.

Following his historic flight, Gagarin embarked on a world tour, and the very first city he visited, just two weeks after his return to the earth’s atmosphere, was Prague.

Czechoslovak Radio asked him if he had a message for listeners:

“Greetings to all the working people of Czechoslovakia. I wish you the best for the coming summer: in your work, in your private life, and in building socialism and peace in the whole world.”

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