Vostok 1

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Vostok 1 (Russian: Восток-1, Orient 1 or East 1) was the first human spaceflight, part of the Vostok program. The Vostok 3KA spacecraft was launched on April 12, 1961. The flight took Yuri Gagarin, a cosmonaut from the Soviet Union, into space. The flight marked the first time that a human entered outer space, as well as the first orbital flight of a manned vehicle. Vostok 1 was launched by the Soviet space program, and was designed by Soviet rocket scientists guided by Sergey Korolyov under military supervision of Kerim Kerimov and others.[5]

Contents

Crew

Backup crew

Reserve crew

Mission parameters

Mission highlights

Gagarin orbited the Earth once in 108 minutes[1]. He returned unharmed, ejecting from the Vostok capsule 7 km (23,000 ft) above the ground and parachuting separately to the ground since the capsule's parachute landing was deemed too rough for cosmonauts to risk.

Ground controllers did not know if a stable orbit had been achieved until 25 minutes after launch.

The spacecraft attitude control was run by an automated system. Medical staff and spacecraft engineers were unsure how a human being might react to weightlessness, and therefore the pilot's flight controls were locked out to prevent Gagarin from taking manual control. (Codes to unlock the controls were placed in an onboard envelope, for Gagarin's use in case of emergency.)[6]:278 Vostok could not change its orbit, only spacecraft attitude (orientation), and for much of the flight the spacecraft's attitude was allowed to drift. The automatic system brought Vostok 1 into alignment for retrofire about 1 hour into the flight.

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