Today in History, April 12

The headline: "Man in Space! Captain of the First Spaceflight Is Ours, a Soviet!"

Happy Cosmonauts Day! Fifty-two years ago today, on April 12, 1961, Yury Gagarin became the first person to travel into space. Here's how he described being in space for the first time: "The feeling of weightlessness is somewhat unfamiliar compared with Earth conditions. Here you feel like you are hanging in a horizontal position in straps. You feel like you are suspended."


Read our related story about Russia's plans to send a mouse into a new level of orbit here.