Another Yuri Gagarin
Photos from the personal life of the first man who conquered space.
Yuri Gagarin would have turned 80 today. What was he really like? In our material there are no official pictures and standard cards in a spacesuit. 18 rare shots from the life of an ordinary person named Yuri Gagarin.
Two years after the flight, Gagarin is still in good physical shape. Summer of 1963.
Gagarin is a photographer. Autumn 1965.
A party in the "Star City", which was arranged in honor of the astronauts in the spring of 1965. Left: Yuri Gagarin, right: Alexey Leonov.
Post-flight rest. Crimea, summer of 1961.
Yuri Alekseevich on vacation.
Crimea, summer of 1961.
Yuri Gagarin with his daughters.
Friendly hugs with Fidel Castro.
In the overseas trip. After his flight, Gagarin visited several dozen countries.
Captain of the Nashi astronauts hockey team Yuri Gagarin. 1963
Yuri Gagarin with a camera.
Gagarin and photographer Yuri Abramochkin.
Gagarin with his daughter Galya on a bike ride.
A gift from the French company Matra: the Matra Djet sports car. 1965
Solid owner of the black "Volga". 1967
"Hunters on a halt", autumn 1966.
Successful duck hunting. Autumn 1966.
Yuri Gagarin with his daughters Galya and Lena.
Two days before the flight, Gagarin wrote a letter to his wife, Valentina. He knew that he was facing a very dangerous event. Here is the letter:
“Hello, my dear, beloved Valechka, Helen and Tick!
I decided to write you a few lines to share with you and share together the joy and happiness that I had today. Today the government commission decided to send me into space first. You know, dear Valya, how glad I am, I want you to be glad with me. An ordinary person was entrusted with such a large state task - to pave the first path into space!
Can you dream of more? After all, this is history, this is a new era! One day I have to start. You will go about your business at this time. A very big task fell on my shoulders. I would like to be with you a little bit before that, talk to you. But alas, you are far away. Nevertheless, I always feel you next to me.
In the technique I believe completely. She should not let down. But it happens because on a flat spot a person falls and breaks his neck.Here, too, something can happen. But I myself do not believe in it yet. Well, if something happens, then I ask you and first of all you, Valya, not to be killed with grief. After all, life is life, and no one is guaranteed that tomorrow the machine will not crush it. Please take care of our girls, love them as I love. To grow out of them, please, not a Belarusian, not mother’s daughters, but real people for whom the bumps of life would not be terrible. Grow people worthy of a new society - communism. The state will help you with this. Well, arrange your personal life, as your conscience will tell you, as you see fit. I do not impose any obligations on you, and I do not have the right to do this. Something too mournful letter turns out. I myself do not believe it. I hope that you will never see this letter, and I will be ashamed in front of myself for this fleeting weakness. But if something happens, you should know everything to the end.
So far I have lived honestly, truthfully, with benefit for people, although it was small. Once in my childhood I read the words of V.P. Chkalov: "If to be, then to be first." So I try to be and will be to the end. I want, Valechka, to dedicate this flight to the people of the new society, communism, in which we are already entering, our great Motherland, our science.
I hope that in a few days we will be together again, we will be happy.
Valechka, you, please, do not forget my parents, if there is an opportunity, then help with anything. Give them a big hello from me and let them forgive me for not knowing anything about it, but they were not supposed to know. Well, it seems that's all. Goodbye my family. Tightly hug you and kiss you, with greetings your dad and Jura. 04/10/61
Valentina Ivanovna read this letter only seven years later - after her husband died in a plane crash on March 27, 1968.