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The cosmonaut who was the first person to orbit the earth pens this letter regarding the construction of television factory in his hometown. Remarkably Rare!
Autograph Letter signed: "Gagarin" in Russian, 1p, 8½x11¾. No place, circa 1967. Not translated. In this letter, the first man in space (April 12, 1961) responds to a decision to build a branch of a Moscow television factory in his hometown, the city of Gzhatsk. He asks that the recipient look into starting the project in 1968. Gagarin then promises that the material will be sent to his ministry department and says that the factory will help settle the city's unemployment problem. YURI GAGARIN (1934-1968) was only 34 years old when he was killed in a plane crash on March 27, 1968. This is one of the few ALS by Gagarin we have seen in over 35 years of collecting. Note in Russian (unknown hand) in indelible red pencil at upper left. Lightly creased. Gently worn with nicked edges. Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: March 9, 1934 in Klushino / Smolensk Oblast / Russia
Died: March 27, 1968 in Novoselovo / Vladimir Oblast / Russia

Colonel Yuri A. Gagarin was born on a collective farm in a region west of Moscow, Russia on March 9, 1934. His father was a carpenter. Yuri attended the local school for six years and continued his education at vocational and technical schools.

Yuri Gagarin joined the Russian Air Force in 1955 and graduated with honors from the Soviet Air Force Academy in 1957. Soon afterward, he became a military fighter pilot. By 1959, he had been selected for cosmonaut training as part of the first group of USSR cosmonauts.

Yuri Gagarin flew only one space mission. On April 12, 1961 he became the first human to orbit Earth. Gagarin's spacecraft, Vostok 1, circled Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour. The flight lasted 108 minutes. At the highest point, Gagarin was about 327 kilometers above Earth.

Once in orbit, Yuri Gagarin had no control over his spacecraft. Vostok's reentry was controlled by a computer program sending radio commands to the space capsule. Although the controls were locked, a key had been placed in a sealed envelope in case an emergency situation made it necessary for Gagarin to take control. As was planned, Cosmonaut Gagarin ejected after reentry into Earth's atmosphere and landed by parachute.

Colonel Yuri Gagarin died on March 27, 1968 when the MiG-15 he was piloting crashed near Moscow. At the time of his death, Yuri Gagarin was in training for a second space mission.

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