On April 12, 1961 Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, aboard the Vostok 3KA-3 spacecraft on the Vostok 1 spaceflight, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome Site No. 1 became both the first human to travel into space, and the first to orbit the earth. Gagarin's Vostok 1 spaceflight consisted of a single orbit of the earth lasting 108 minutes. Gagarin ejected from the spacecraft at 7 km, 23,000 feet, and parachuted to earth separately from the spacecraft.
In his secret postflight report, Gagarin described the first human experience of spaceflight, and prolonged microgravity:
"I ate and rank normally, I could eat and drink. I noticed no physiological difficulties. The feeling of weightlessness was somewhat unfamilar compared with Earth conditions. Here, you feel as if you were hanging in a horzontal position in straps. You feel as if you are suspended. Obviously, the tightly fitted suspension system presses upon the thorax. . . . Later I got used to it and had no unpleasant sensations. I made entries into the logbook, reported, worked with the telegraph key. When I had meals, I also had water. I let the writing pad out of my hands and it floated together with the pencil in front of me. Then, when I had to write the next report, I took the pad, but the pencil wasn't where it had been. It had flown off somewhere. The eye was secured to the pencil with a screw, but obviously they should have used glue or secured the pencil more tightly. The screw got loose and flew away. I closed up the journal and put it in my pocket. It wouldn't be any good anyway, because I had nothing to write with" (quoted by Siddiqi, Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race: 1945-1974 (2000) 278).
A minor detail mentioned in this quote is that Gagarin communicated with earth by radio, using a telegraph key, rather than by voice. His call sign was Kedr (Siberian Pine, Russian: Кедр).