The members of the first cosmonaut corps found out the candidacy for a flight into space at the very last moment, when the rocket had already started. RIA Novosti was told about this by the Soviet cosmonaut, twice Hero of the Soviet Union Boris Volynov.
According to him, the choice was between Yuri Gagarin and German Titov. The decision was made at a meeting of the state commission at the cosmodrome. “We weren't there. We learned about the choice only during the flight, when we heard Gagarin's call sign “Kedr” in radio communications with the Earth, ”Volynov said.
He noted that Titov objectively had more chances to fly first, since he weighed less. This meant that less fuel would be spent on its flight.
Earlier, the daughter of Yuri Gagarin, Elena, said that her father's chances of surviving in space were less than 50 percent. This opinion was shared by the designer Sergei Korolev.
On April 12, 1961, Gagarin flew into space. He spent 108 minutes there. On August 6, Titov became the second person to complete an orbital flight and stayed in space for more than 25 hours.