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Last Updated: Monday July 20 2009 13:20 GMT

Who was the first person in space?

Yuri Gagarin

People have dreamt of travelling in space for thousands of years, but it didn't become a reality until about 40 years ago.

On 12 April, 1961, the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin blasted off into orbit in his Vostok 1 spacecraft.

He circled the Earth once at an altitude of 320 km (200 miles).

"The Earth is blue," he said in awe.