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The first human blasted into space 51 years ago

A municipal worker washes the upper part of the to 70-meter high monument to Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, at the Gagarin Square in Moscow, on April 11. Russia celebrated today Aviation and Cosmonautics Day, the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin making the first manned space flight in 1961.
A municipal worker washes the upper part of the to 70-meter high monument to Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, at the Gagarin Square in Moscow, on April 11. Russia celebrated today Aviation and Cosmonautics Day, the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin making the first manned space flight in 1961.Andrey Smirnov / AFP - Getty Images

Russia's Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin, wearing a pair of glasses, watches the main program of the Planetarium on the Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics and the 51st anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's historic first space flight in Moscow on April 12.
Russia's Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin, wearing a pair of glasses, watches the main program of the Planetarium on the Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics and the 51st anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's historic first space flight in Moscow on April 12.Ria Novosti / Reuters

For more than five decades, humans have been suiting up and riding rockets to escape the bonds of Earth, but the anniversary of that historic first flight — which blasted off 51 years ago this week— takes center stage on Thursday, April 12.

To mark the groundbreaking flight of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961, space geeks worldwide will revel at themed parties, and a filmmaker will tweet the mission's audio transcript live to coincide with the actual time of the flight.

Gagarin became the first human ever to experience space travel when he blasted off aboard the Vostok 1 flight, a 108-minute jaunt that included a full orbit around Earth.

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-- space.com