Do you know what kind of guy he was?

Today, on March 9, we celebrate the 88th birth anniversary of Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin, the first cosmonaut of the planet. A man whose smile has become a symbol of a new era in the development of mankind - the era of manned space flights.

Yuri Gagarin is known and remembered by the whole world. He became a legend during his lifetime: he flew around the Earth in orbit and traveled around it to countries and continents after returning from space. And there is no place on the planet where people would not admire the first cosmonaut – he was a kind, honest and brave Russian guy! This is not some fictional superhero with supernatural powers. Yuri Gagarin, who showed true heroism, conquered the whole world with a disarming smile, modest charm, and an open heart. This is exactly the kind of person the Earth's envoy on a space expedition should be.

Yuri realized that he could not live without the sky early. He graduated with honors from flight school, served in the fighter aviation regiment of the Northern Fleet Air Force for several years. On March 3, 1960, Gagarin was enrolled in a group of cosmonaut candidates – and after a little more than a year of training, with demanding physical exercises, overcoming overloads, stressful situations, pressure drops, altitude and stratospheric adaptation, he made the very flight that opened the era of manned space exploration. 

Psychologists of the cosmonaut squad noted: "Gagarin's favorite word is "work." He always makes some sensible suggestions at meetings. He is confident in himself and in his abilities. He tolerates training easily, works efficiently. He developed very harmoniously. Sincere, polite, tactful, punctual, highly intellectual. He has a wonderful memory. He stands out among his comrades with a wide amount of active attention, quick wit and reaction. Diligent. He does not hesitate to defend the point of view that he considers correct."

The Vostok-1 spacecraft, carrying Yuri Gagarin, was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on April 12, 1961. After 108 minutes, he successfully landed in the Saratov region. Now we celebrate this date, the International Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics, annually.

The Tsiolkovsky International Film Festival opens in Kaluga every year on this holiday. And for many of us, the phrase that Gagarin said during the launch became a kind of success code, commemorateв in the famous song by Alexandra Pakhmutova and Nikolai Dobronravov: He said "Let's go", he waved his hand. As if along Piterskaya, St. Petersburg, he swept over the Earth....