Soviet capsule which scouted ahead of Gagarin could bring $10m at Sotheby's

As many readers may recall, 50 years ago on April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was sent up on a small spherical satellite-spacecraft named Vostok 3KA-3 to  overcome the earth's atmosphere, and became the first man walk in space.

However, even then the mission was considered plenty dangerous enough to test the craft with a crash-test dummy.

Three weeks earlier, the Soviet space program preparing the implementation of Gagarin's historic breakthrough, made the final test satellite launch Vostok (East 3KA-2) with a dummy cosmonaut (Nicknamed "Ivan Ivanovich"), exactly repeating the situation of a man and a dog on board a spacecraft.

To exit the ship in Earth's orbit and make his return took 115 minutes. To mark the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight a special auction will be held in New York, April 12, 2011, Sotheby's will offer the spacecraft Vostok 3KA-2 which opened the way for the historic mission of Gagarin.

Still scorched from re-entry, the February ship, carrying a remarkably broad estimate of $2m-10m, will be presented to the public in the gallery of New York Avenue, Sotheby's.

Collectors interested in cosmonauts may have noted that a spacesuit - Sokol K - used by Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, commander of the Soyuz 19 spacecraft is due to auction at Bonhams.

It was worn during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975, effectively considered to be the end of the 'Space Race' which dominated the previous decade and is expected to bring $100,000-150,000. An early Russian spacesuit, sold for €87,497 in 2009


Join our readers in more than 200 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£65,000
In stock