Widow of Yuri Gagarin, first human in space, dies at 84

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FILE – In this Tuesday, April 5, 2011 file photo, an undated photo of the first man in space Yuri Gagarin and his wife Valentina is on a display at the upper house of Russian parliament in Moscow, Russia. The widow of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to fly to space, has died at the age of 84. Russia’s space agency Roscosmos announced Valentina Gagarina’s death Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in a short statement, offering condolences to her relatives. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

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MOSCOW (AP) — The widow of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to fly to space, died Tuesday. She was 84.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos announced Valentina Gagarina’s death in a short statement, offering condolences to her relatives. It didn’t give any details about the cause or circumstances of her death.

Born Valentina Goryacheva, she married Gagarin in 1957. After Gagarin’s pioneering April 12, 1961 space flight she appeared alongside him at official events but mostly sought to avoid the limelight.

Following Gagarin’s 1968 death in an air crash, Gagarina worked as a biochemical experts at the Star City cosmonaut training center outside Moscow. She dodged the media but published a book of memoirs about her husband.

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