April 11, 2011: An undated portrait of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and his award of the Hero of the Soviet Union, at right, part of an exhibition dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the first man in space, in Moscow, Russia.
April 14, 1961:Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev greets cosmonaut Maj. Yuri Gagarin at the Vnukovo airport in Moscow.
This undated photo shows cosmonaut Maj. Yuri Gagarin in his space suit.
This undated picture shows a Russian Vostok rocket on its launcher.
April 1961: This photo released by TASS in April 1961 shows cosmonaut Maj. Yuri Gagarin during training.
July 15, 1961: Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin stands in an open car outside the Russian embassy in London and waves to the crowd as he departs for home.
April 11, 2011: From left: U.S. astronaut Thomas Stafford, Yuri Gagarin's daughter Yelena, Russian cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Viktor Gorbatko visit an exhibition dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the first man in space in Moscow, Russia.
April 10, 2011: People watch a model rocket blasting off during celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Yuri Gagarin's first manned flight into space in St.Petersburg, Russia.
April 8, 2011: A mock-up of the Vostok spacecraft's landing capsule is seen at an exhibit at the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow, Russia.
April 12 marks 50 years since Russian air force pilot Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to enter space, a giant leap forward for the Soviet Union that drove America's race to the moon.