Yuri Gagarin became the first human in outer space. That's cool.
Not only that, a survey a year ago by the Space Foundation found him one of the 10 Top Space Heroes of all time.
All but one from the list are actual people. Unfortunately for Gagarin, he's tied with the only fictional character, James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. But c'mon, that's pretty damn good company. Beam me up, Scotty.
Here's the list:
1. Astronaut Neil Armstrong, who flew in both the Gemini and Apollo programs and was the first human to set foot on the Moon
2. NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz, who played a key role in both the Gemini and Apollo programs and is best known for directing NASA's Mission Control efforts to save the crew of Apollo 13 after the capsule suffered a catastrophic explosion while en route to the Moon
3. Astronaut Capt. John W. Young*, USN (Retired), whose 42-year NASA career included the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, including walking on the Moon and piloting the first Shuttle
4. Astronaut Capt. James Lovell*, USN (Retired), who flew in both the Gemini and Apollo programs and is best known for commanding the dramatic return to Earth of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission
5. Former Senator and Astronaut Col. John Glenn, USMC (Retired), who was first American to orbit the Earth and the only astronaut to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs
6. (tie) Russian Cosmonaut Col. Yuri Gagarin, Soviet Air Force, the first human in outer space; and fictional character Capt. James Tiberius Kirk of the starship USS Enterprise from the 1960s television series, Star Trek
7. Former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, Ph.D., who led the U.S. space agency from 2005-2009
8. Scientist and author Carl Sagan, Ph.D., known primarily for popularizing astronomy, astrophysics and other natural sciences
9. (3-way tie) Astronaut Col. Buzz Aldrin*, Ph.D., USAF (Retired), who flew in both the Gemini and Apollo programs and was the second person to walk on the Moon; Mercury Astronaut Lt. Col. Virgil "Gus" Grissom, USAF, who was the second person to fly in space and the first to make a repeat trip, and was killed in a pre-launch test for Apollo 1; and Astronaut Rear Adm. Alan Shepard, USN (Retired), who flew in both the Mercury and Apollo programs and was the second person and first American in space
10. (tie) Entrepreneur and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who has created the first fully commercial U.S. space venture; and rocketry pioneer and scientist Wernher von Braun, known as the greatest rocket scientist in history