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The giant rocket blasted upward. Hot fire and smoke exploded out of the base of it. Inside, Yuri Gagarin sat in a small control space called a cockpit. It shook with the raw power of the rocket. Yuri said, "Thank you. Goodbye. See you, dear friends. Goodbye, see you soon." It was 6:07 a.m. on April 12, 1961. Yuri was heading to outer space. If successful, he would be the first human ever to fly around the Earth and to see it from space.

At 6:12, one of the rockets used...

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