Lunokhod 1 lunar roving vehicles

LunokHod 1 lunar roving vehicle (model 1970)

LunokHod 1 lunar roving vehicle (model 1970)

Two Lunokhod vehicles were sent to the Moon’s surface, and remain there today. The Lunokhod vehicles were originally intended to support cosmonauts landing on the Moon. They were expected to land first, and act as a radio beacon and emergency buggy for travelling to a backup lunar lander. Their TV and photographic cameras recorded thousands of images, and instruments analysed the lunar environment. During their working life on the Moon both travelled over 50km, under the control of operators on Earth.

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“Space is ours”

Medical student lab coat, 1961

Medical student lab coat, 1961

The pride and joy of crowds packing into Moscow’s Red Square to cheer Yuri Gagarin standing with Soviet premier Khrushchev showed itself in all kinds of instant, improvised ways.

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Vostok 6 descent modul

Vostok 6 descent module, 1963This is the actual spacecraft that took Valentina Tereshkova into space. Inside, Tereshkova faced mortal danger. Soon after reaching orbit, she noticed that the spacecraft was misaligned. Ground control transmitted a new computer program to right the spacecraft. Without this her braking rocket would have fired her into a higher orbit and she would have died in space.

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Voskhod 1 decent module

Voskhod 1 decent module, 1964

Voskhod 1 decent module, 1964

The three cosmonauts’ couches inside Voskhod were only fitted with difficulty, making the crew crane their necks to see the instrument panels. With no space for a means of escape to be fitted, a retrorocket slowed the spacecraft as it returned to Earth, enabling the cosmonauts to remain on board for the entire mission.

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Vostok spacecraft

Vostok model, scale 1:3, 1970

Vostok model, scale 1:3, 1970

The Vostok spacecraft comprised a spherical cosmonaut cabin and a conical equipment module, with a collar of nitrogen and oxygen tanks surrounding their connection. Only the cabin returned to Earth. This model is finished in stainless steel, but the actual spacecraft used different materials for strength and heat resistance.

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