This famous phrase was uttered by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin when he took off at 09:07 (Moscow time) on April 12, 1961, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
On the Vostok 1 spacecraft, Gagarin flew for 1 hour and 48 minutes around the Earth, which gave the then- Soviet Union a head start over the United States in the race space during the Cold War.
The Soviet Union was thus pioneering the era of manned space flights, including the journey of Valentina Tereshkova (1963), the first cosmonaut woman, and Alexei Leonov (1965), the first human to do a spacewalk.
Before becoming a cosmonaut, Gagarin was a military pilot. He was chosen among 3,500 young people who applied for the program (1960) to send a human being into space.
The Soviet Union had already put the first satellite into orbit, the Sputnik, in 1957.