Model, Vostok 1 Spacecraft

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a 1:6 scale model representing the Vostok spacecraft that carried Yuri Gagarin into orbit around the Earth. On 12 April 1961, Soviet Air Forces pilot, Major Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth. The Vostok was launched atop the launch vehicle by the same name and completed one orbit of the Earth in 89 minutes. The original capsule weighed 2.4 tons.

The spacecraft consists of the cosmonaut's ball-shaped cabin at the front, and the cylindrical compartment at the rear. The cosmonaut's compartment is the only part of the vehicle designed for the re-entry into the atmosphere. The compartment includes an ejection seat incorporating a form-fitting couch. Since the capsule lacked the breaking devices necessary to slow the vehicle to land a human inside of it, the cosmonaut ejected at an altitude of about 23,000 feet, and parachuted to Earth. The cylindrical compartment houses instruments, control apparatus, and the radio equipment together with the final stage of the launch vehicle. On its surface is a ring of ventilation shutters that served to control the temperature of the instrument bay.

The National Air and Space Museum commissioned Shawcraft Models of England for the construction of this model in 1967. Shawcraft Models based this object on photographs of a Vostok capsule model that the USSR displayed in Paris in 1966.

Collection Item Long Description:

This is a 1:6 scale model representing the Vostok spacecraft that carried Yuri Gagarin into orbit around the Earth. On 12 April 1961, Soviet Air Forces pilot, Major Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth. The Vostok was launched atop the launch vehicle by the same name and completed one orbit of the Earth in 89 minutes. The original capsule weighed 2.4 tons.

The spacecraft consists of the cosmonaut's ball-shaped cabin at the front, and the cylindrical compartment at the rear. The cosmonaut's compartment is the only part of the vehicle designed for the re-entry into the atmosphere. The compartment includes an ejection seat incorporating a form-fitting couch. Since the capsule lacked the breaking devices necessary to slow the vehicle to land a human inside of it, the cosmonaut ejected at an altitude of about 23,000 feet, and parachuted to Earth. The cylindrical compartment houses instruments, control apparatus, and the radio equipment together with the final stage of the launch vehicle. On its surface is a ring of ventilation shutters that served to control the temperature of the instrument bay.

The National Air and Space Museum commissioned Shawcraft Models of England for the construction of this model in 1967. Shawcraft Models based this object on photographs of a Vostok capsule model that the USSR displayed in Paris in 1966.