American space exploration has two names attached to it: Alan Shepard and Neil Armstrong. These men were pioneers in the field and accomplished many amazing things. However, there were trailblazers found in the Soviet Union, too. Did you know that Yuri Gagarin was the first human to go into orbit?
Though it was widely publicized, some people don’t believe he was the first Russian to make it into space. Most people think there was a dark start to space exploration and sending humans up there. In fact, conspiracy theories claim that an early astronaut suffered a horrible fate, and the USSR covered it up.
Gaining the Edge
Gagarin was the USSR role model after seeing the stars up close, and his achievement was definitely excellent. The 27-year-old cosmonaut went into orbit and gave the Soviets an edge during the Space Race period.
Hearsay and Rumors
In the beginning, and even now, people weren’t convinced he was the first man to orbit Earth. Rumors claimed that another man had achieved that goal. While healthy initially, he was now doing poorly.