The Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first human being to travel into space, aboard the ship Vostok 1. He took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome on April 12, 1961 and his journey around the planet, at a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour , it lasted 108 minutes. His words to describe the experience of seeing the planet from space were astonished: “The Earth is blue …!”. “From the cosmic height the Earth is seen clearly, the mountains, the coasts and the islands are clearly distinguished,” Gagarin later wrote in his official report on the flight.
Astronaut Alan Shepard followed him in less than a month, on May 5, 1961, with the first American space launch aboard the Freedom 7 spacecraft.