Soviet VA space capsule makes $1.3m in Belgian auction

The Soviet Vozvraschaemyi Apparat (VA) space capsule has sold for $1.3m at Kunsthaus Lempertz, making it one of the most valuable pieces of space memorabilia ever sold.

The auction took place in Brussels on May 7.

interior VA capsule
The interior of the Soviet VA capsule

The capsule was flown into space on two separate occasions, in 1977 and 1978 - carrying three cosmonauts on each mission.

It was initially designed as part of the USSR's failed Moon landing program, but was later repurposed for use in shuttling crew between Earth and the Almaz Space Station.

Excalibur Almaz, a private spaceflight company, consigned the piece. The company had originally intended to develop it into a vessel that could be used to explore deep space.

The lot failed to exceed the space record $2.9m paid for a Russian Vostok test capsule in 2011.

The sale also included a range of other items of space memorabilia, including a pair of Sokol KV2 space suits worn by astronauts Michael Foale and Alexander Kaleri, which made a combined $105,000.

A selection of space memorabilia, including Apollo 11 and 17 Robbins medals, is auctioning at Nate D Sanders - with bidding due to close on May 29.

We have a fascinating range of space memorabilia available, including this rare signed letter from Neil Armstrong.

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