Vostok 1, 1961.

Vostok 1, 1961.
3 1 c m
40cm
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

Description

Model (scale 1:6). On 12th April 1961 Yuri Gagarin was launched into orbit by a Vostok rocket and became the first man in space. The craft was controlled from the ground, as it was unknown what effect the weightles environment of orbit would have on a cosmonaut and his ability to operate the controls. Gagarin did have a key to the controls, however, sealed in an envelope for use in an emergency. After completing one orbit in a flight lasting 1 hour and 48 minutes, the spacecraft's automatic controls brought him safely back to Earth. After re-entry, Gagarin had to eject from the capsule and parachute to safety, a feature of the early Vostok craft kept secret by the Soviet authorities as it would have fallen foul of FAI rules regarding eligibility for space world records.

Image Details

Image Ref.
 
10278443

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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