Vostok 1 (East) was the first manned spacecraft to orbit the earth. Launched by the R-7 rocket system on 12 April 1961, it carried Yuri Gagarin on a one orbit flight that lasted 108 minutes.
Russian studies into a manned spacecraft began in June 1956 and the Vostok project was officially authorised in May 1959.
The Russian objective was to beat the United States in launching a man into space so the design was kept as simple as possible.
The first test flight of an unmanned Vostok (called Sputnik 4 in the West) occurred on 15 May 1960 and a number of test flights followed, not all successfully.
After Gagarin’s successful flight a further five Vostok flights occurred, the final one on 16 June 1963 carried the first woman into space.
This model represents the R-7 launcher and Vostok 1 on 12 April 1961.
Aer Moldova 1/144 kit with New Ware decals completed by Leigh Edmonds in November 2007..