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The Tech That Took Yuri Gagarin Into Space

Fifty years ago this month, a young Russian military pilot, standing just 5’2” tall and wearing a comically over-sized helmet that would later become an icon, was strapped into a capsule atop the Vostok-1 rocket and fired into space. His mission lasted just 108 minutes, but it turned him into the first cosmonaut–the first human to journey into space. This was 1961, and in the USSR. Here’s a look at the technology they used, and how it’s impacted the space programs of today.

Fifty years ago this month, a young Russian military pilot, standing just 5’2” tall and wearing a comically over-sized helmet that would later become an icon, was strapped into a capsule atop the Vostok-1 rocket and fired into space. His mission lasted just 108 minutes, but it turned him into the first cosmonaut–the first human to journey into space. This was 1961, and in the USSR. Here’s a look at the technology they used, and how it’s impacted the space programs of today.

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I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)

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