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Russia to mark golden jubilee of first manned space flight


Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man to reach outer space.

MOSCOW (PTI): Russia will mark the golden jubilee of the first manned space flight by launching 50 spacecraft this year.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Tuesday announced plans to spend 115 billion roubles (about $3.8 billion) on national space programmes in 2011, under which about 50 spacecraft will be launched in the jubilee year, Voice of Russia reported.

Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had lifted off from the Soviet Cosmodrome Baikonur on April 12, 1961, becoming the first human in outer space and the first to orbit Earth.

Speaking at a meeting at the Russian Flight Control Centre in Korolyov near here, Putin said that a new federal programme will be adopted to develop the GLONASS satellite navigation system through 2020.

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