Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space, has had his name removed from a Space Foundation fundraiser, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

  • Yuri Gagarin has had his name removed from the US-based Space Foundation’s fundraising event.
  • The Soviet cosmonaut was the first person to fly to space, on April 12, 1961. 
  • The nonprofit organization decided to change the name of the fundraiser amid “current world events.”

Yuri Gagarin, the first person to journey to outer space, has had his name removed from a fundraising event amid Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine.

Futurism first reported the story. 

The US-based nonprofit Space Foundation announced on its website in a now-deleted note: “In light of current world events, the 2022 Space Foundation Yuri’s Night is renamed ‘A Celebration of Space: Discover What’s Next.'”

It added: “The focus of this fundraising event remains the same – to celebrate human achievements in space while inspiring the next generation to reach for the stars.”

The Space Foundation did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours.

The fundraiser will celebrate the wonders of space and the 10th anniversary of the organization at the Space Foundation Discovery Center. The event will include “astronaut meet and greets, a drone obstacle course, a silent auction, and more.”

As a Soviet cosmonaut, Gagarin traveled to space on April 12, 1961. He orbited Earth once in 108 minutes and landed back in the Soviet Union.

Following his space journey, he was awarded the Order of Lenin and given the titles of Hero of the Soviet Union and Pilot Cosmonaut of the Soviet Union.

The move to change the name of the fundraiser comes amid a series of sweeping global sanctions recently imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Many brands have pulled their business from Russia and Western countries have removed Russia-manufactured or branded products from stores.