Soyuz-T Neptune console

Soyuz-T Neptune information display system

Soyuz-T Neptune information display system, 1982-83

This console gives the Soyuz module’s crew information on the spacecraft’s condition and trajectory. It provides a keyboard interface with the spacecraft’s computer for inputing commands during manoeuvering, docking, descent and landing. The small globe displays the craft’s position over the Earth.

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Gagarin’s pilot oxygen mask

Gagarin's pilot oxygen mask KM-32-12, 1960-68

Yuri’s pilot oxygen mask KM-32-12, 1960-68

Aircraft pilots had long required an oxygen supply to allow flying at high altitude. The Soviet KM-32-12 mask became standard issue and Gagarin regularly wore it during his training aircraft flights.

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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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