Internet search giant Google is honouring the 50th anniversary of the first human space flight by Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin with a Google Doodle on its homepage.
Google places Google Doodles – reworked Google logos – on its homepage to mark significant historical dates.
The Google Doodle marking the first human space flight looks like artwork from a 1950s advertisement. An astronaut and globe form the letter O in the word Google, and the rocket on the globe blasts off when a user moves his or her cursor over the image.
Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. His Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April, 1961, making him the first human to travel into outer space. It was his only spaceflight but he continued to work in space travel, serving as backup to the Soyuz 1 mission and as deputy training director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow, which now bears his name.
Fame followed Gagarin’s first human space flight, and he received the Hero of the Soviet Union distinction among other medals and honours.
Gagarin was piloting a Mig 15 training jet when it crashed in 1968, killing him at the age of 34.