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The Vostok 3KA space capsule was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on April 12, 1961, with Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin aboard, making him the first human to cross into outer space.

The launch of Vostok on April 12, 1961

Once Gagarin was in the spacecraft, his picture appeared on television screens in the launch control room from an on board camera.

The spacecraft consisted of a nearly spherical cabin covered with ablative material. There were three small portholes and external radio antennas. Radios, a life support system, instrumentation, and an ejection seat were contained in the manned cabin.

Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin

This cabin was attached to a service module that carried chemical batteries, orientation rockets, the main retro system, and added support equipment for the total system. This module was separated from the manned cabin on reentry. After one orbit, the spacecraft reentered the atmosphere and landed in Kazakhstan, 1 hour 48 minutes after launch.


Vostok 1 orbit / Map: Wikipedia
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