Vostok 1 landing capsule

Vostok 1 landing capsule

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Vostok 1 landing capsule after re-entry. Known as "little ball", this was Yuri Gagarin's descent module after he completed the first manned orbit of the Earth, on April 12 1961. It was later revealed that for safety reasons, Gagarin ejected whilst at altitude and parachuted the remainder of the descent. Gagarin made one complete revolution round the Earth in the Vostok 1 spacecraft, with the flight lasting 108 minutes. The capsule weighed 2400 kilograms and measured just 2.3 metres in diameter. Evidence of the extreme heat of re-entry can be seen at the base of the capsule.

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Keywords: 1900s, 20th century, april 12 1961, black-and-white, engineering, historical, history, landing capsule, little ball, manned spaceflight, module, monochrome, novosti, one, russia, russian, single, soviet, soviet union, space race, spaceflight, technological, technology, ussr, vostok 1, yuri gagarin

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