Fifty years ago, 12-04-1961, Iurij Gagarin strapped himself into a rocket, and was shot into space. Unproven technology, hurled into the unknown... he described his experience as something beautiful beyond comprehension. Becoming a national treasure, he was then grounded from returning to what he loved--space, and was trotted around as a Soviet propaganda show poodle. No wonder he reportedly turned to the bottle to cope. Finally returning to work as a test-pilot, he died under circumstances that are still questionable today. Слава Гагаину!!!