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Vostok 1 was the first spaceflight of the Vostok programme and the first manned spaceflight in history. 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.
See the fact file below for more information on the Vostok 1 or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Vostok 1 worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Vostok 1 was the first spaceflight of the Vostok program and the first manned spaceflight in history. It was designed to carry a single cosmonaut and Yuri Gagarin was chosen as the prime pilot for Vostok 1.
- The flight on April 12, 1961, lasted for 108 minutes circling the Earth for a little more than one orbit.
- Gagarin became a cultural hero of the Soviet Union that even today, more than six decades after, he is widely celebrated in Russian space museums, with numerous artifacts, busts, and statues displayed in his honor.
- The Vostok 1 spacecraft consisted of a nearly spherical cabin covered with ablative material that was designed to eliminate changes in center of gravity. This assured comfort for its one-man crew no matter what the orientation would be. Because of concerns of adverse reactions due to weightlessness of the crew, the manual controls of the spacecraft were locked prior to launch and were controlled by ground personnel.
- The spacecraft consisted of three small portholes, external radio antennas, radios as life support system, and an ejection seat.
- Unlike the succeeding vehicles, Vostok 1 was not designed to land with a human still on board, so Gagarin had to eject before reaching ground, at an altitude of around four miles.
- The cabin, as seen in the picture above, was attached to a service module that carried chemical batteries, orientation rockets, main retro system, and added support equipment for the total system.
- Vostok 1 was developed to eject the cosmonaut at approximately 7 km, allowing the crew to return to earth with the use of a parachute.
- It was on October 4, 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, which became the catalyst for propelling the existing Cold War rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. Both countries wanted to develop spaceflight technology through launching the first successful human spaceflight.
- Sputnik 1 was followed by another “first” when the Soviets launched a living being into space, Laika the dog.
- The Soviet Union secretly launched a mission under the Vostok program in competition with the United States’ Project Mercury. The program tested several unmanned missions between 1960 and 1961 allowing them to complete their first manned flight.
- A few weeks before the Vostok 1 launch, a prototype of Vostok 1, the Vostok 3KA-2 completed one low-Earth orbit carrying a life-size dummy named Ivan Ivanovich and a dog called Zvezdochka.
RACING TO THE STARS
- Fifty-eight years ago, Yuri Gagarin, a 27-year old Soviet Air Force pilot, manned Vostok 1 and became the first human in space. Gagarin entered the spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 7:10am, Moscow time. The radio communication system was immediately turned on and his picture appeared on television screens in the launch control room from an onboard camera.
- Forty minutes later, the hatch of Vostok 1 was closed, but another hour was spent resealing the hatch following Gagarin’s report that it was not closed properly.
- The Vostok 1 mission lasted for 108 minutes and the trip around the earth’s orbit at 17,500 mph took less than an hour and a half.
- Gagarin was the first human to see our planet from space and that launched him into celebrity status and he toured around the world.
Vostok 1 Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Vostok 1 across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Vostok 1 worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Vostok 1 which was the first spaceflight of the Vostok programme and the first manned spaceflight in history. 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.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Vostok 1 Facts
- Fact Sheet
- Fun Facts
- Throwback Time
- Jumbled up Words
- Figure It Out
- Scientific Invention
- Picture at a Glance
- What I Learned
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Link will appear as Vostok 1 Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 8, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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