Russian space pioneer Yuri Gagarin piloting a plane. Photo/rgantd.ru
MOSCOW – The State Archives of Russia published on Monday (27/3/2023) the first photographs from the location where the world’s first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, died.
The space pioneer died in a jet disaster 55 years ago along with Vladimir Seregin, a renowned test pilot and WW2 veteran.
The two piloted a trainer jet, Mig-15UTI, which crashed on March 27, 1968, in Russia’s Vladimir Region during a routine flight.
They died at the scene, with the plane disintegrating on impact. The official cause of the crash was never officially announced, leading to theories ranging from pilot error or a collision with a weather balloon to KGB involvement and even a UFO encounter.
Previously unseen photographs, taken by an investigative commission the next day, show pieces of the wrecked plane strewn across the crash site.
But the photos say almost nothing about the first cosmonaut’s tragic death.
The plane was torn apart in the crash, with the silhouette of the two-seater barely recognizable in the crushed wreckage.
The newly released photos also include images from Gagarin’s funeral. Both the cosmonaut and his co-pilot were buried in Moscow’s iconic Red Square by the Kremlin, receiving the best state funeral of the Soviet era.
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