On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first person to venture into space, gaining worldwide fame in a quick 108-minute journey. Starman tells for the first time Gagarin's personal odyssey from peasant to international icon, his disintegration under the pressures of fame, and his final disillusionment with the USSR. Before President Kennedy had put an American on the moon, Gagarin himself was dead, killed at age thirty-four in a mysterious air crash. Publicly mourned, his death was privately met with relief by the Soviet hierarchy, and the KGB report into his death remains secret. Entwined with Gagarin's history is that of the breathtaking and highly secretive Russian space program. Starman looks behind the scenes of the first great space spectacular, and reveals how it came frighteningly close to destruction.
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