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A genuine hero turned timeless Russian icon, by those who knew him

In this documentary about Yuri Gagarin, RTD sifts the truth about the man from the legend. To Russian ears, the first man in space’s life story has holy echoes: born into a carpenter’s family which spent the war in a dug-out, he went up to the heavens and came back to Earth alive.

Friends, colleagues and family all describe a genuinely friendly and principled man who worked hard to become a pilot. Following his 1961 flight, Yuri Gagarin struggled to fulfil the demands of international stardom, much preferring to have continued flying.