Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968) was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961. This FDC and the stamp on it were issued by Belarus to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the First Manned Space Flight. Irene from Minsk sent me this memorable cover.
Gagarin became an international celebrity, and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, the nation's highest honour. Vostok 1 marked his only space flight, but he served as backup crew to the Soyuz 1 mission (which ended in a fatal crash). Gagarin later became deputy-training director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre outside Moscow, which was later named after him. Gagarin died in 1968 when the MiG 15 training jet he was piloting crashed.