50 years ago, on April 12, a handsome Air Force pilot known for his endearing grin and oversized helmet marked a giant leap for mankind with his successful  space mission aboard the Vostok around the orbit of the Earth.

Now in celebration of that first human spaceflight that made Gagarin an international celebrity and an inspiration for aspiring astronauts around the world, the Russian government has released more than 700 pages of classified and closely guarded content related to the life and times of the Hero of the Soviet Union.

Among these, what's creating the greatest ripples in national consciousness is his conversation, or excerpts of it, with the chief designer of the spacecraft - the legendary Sergei Korolyov - in the moments before he took off.

Here are a few interesting and light-veined moments from the mission and the quotes of the iconic figure who manned it: