On April 12th 1961 the Soviet Union shocked the world by launching the first man into space; Yuri Gagarin. Strapped to the top of a gigantic ICBM Gagarin was blasted into space as the result of a highly secretive programme. This completely surprised those on the other side of the Iron Curtain and caused considerably fear in the West. However, this momentous achievement was in fact a stab in the dark for the Soviets. Lacking the funding and technology of their American adversaries it almost came to ruin on a number of occasions as we shall find out in this podcast. Dan is joined by Stephen Walker who is a brilliant storyteller, director and author of Beyond: The Astonishing Story of the First Human to Leave Our Planet and Journey into Space to tell the thrilling story of the first human in space.