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The First Human In Space
By Boris Vasilev

     Interestingly enough, the first Earth life form in space was not a human at all but a Russian dog named Laika. Laika was sent into space in November of 1957 atop the Russian rocket called Sputnik II. Unfortunately for Laika, this was a one way trip designed to test the effects of space travel on life forms. After a week in orbit Laika died of asphyxiation.

       Three years later the Soviet Union would shock the world again by sending the first man into outer space. On April 12,1961 the spaceship named Vostok launched Major Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin into outer space. Not only was he the first human to fly in space but he was also the first man to orbit the Earth.

     This was yet another in a string of space flight firsts for the soviet union that shook the United States to its foundations. Four years earlier the Russians had also launched the first unmanned satellite into orbit atop the Sputnik I rocket. These historic events were the wake up call to the United States and they set in motion a series of events that would culminate in humankind setting foot on the moon.

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