The Vostok 3KA-2 Space Capsule – estimated at $2m-10m at Sotheby’s New York.

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On April 12, exactly 50 years on, Sotheby's New York will offer the Vostok 3KA-2, the final test capsule used before Gagarin's historic mission in what would later be known as Vostok 1.

Vostok was the first type of spacecraft built by the Soviet Union to put a human in space, and was conceived and overseen by the architect of the Soviet Space Program, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev.

Despite a successful mission on March 9, 1961, Korolev insisted on one last test. On March 25 the 3KA-2 was sent into space carrying the life-size cosmonaut mannequin, Ivan Ivanovich, and a dog, Zvezdochka. It safely completed the mission, orbiting once before the capsule reentered the earth's atmosphere landing near the city of Izhevsk.

"Not only are there no other examples outside Russia of the world's first spacecraft, this capsule was pivotal in space history as providing the green light for Gagarin's spectacular achievement," commented David Redden, head of Sotheby's special projects department.

The space capsule is currently on public view in Sotheby's York Avenue galleries with a broad estimate of $2m-10m.

The Vostok 3KA-3 Space Capsule is in the RKK Energiya Museum near Moscow.