Everyone knows Gagarin was the first man in space. But who was the second?

Igor Snegirev/Sputnik
It turned out the second man in space was also a Soviet – German Titov.

He was actually meant to be Yuri Gagarin’s substitute, but, as the need never arose, Titov’s flight would take place several months later, in August of 1961. 

Titov did, however, become the first person to carry out a long space flight (25 hours). His trip also ended up bringing back valuable scientific data, used for further developing cosmonautics, including the state of the human organism during sleep and food consumption in zero gravity. Other tests conducted included manual spacecraft handling and filming from orbit. 

Titov remained the youngest person to have made the trip until 2021 – being only 25 in 1961 – although, to be fair his record wasn’t beaten by a cosmonaut, but by an 18-year-old space tourist, so, Titov retains the title of the youngest professional to ever complete an orbital space flight. 

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