Soviet Vostok Spacecraft up for Auction


Vostok 3KA-2 Capsule

This has been an on-going issue for quite a while, but the proposed sale by Southeby’s of the Vostok 3KA-2 spacecraft that was used as the final testbed for Yuri Gagarin’s April 12, 1961, flight raises the issue once again. How do you feel about the sale to collectors—and in some cases museums, but few of those can afford to purchase high end artifacts—such items as the Vostok capsule, which at one time anyway was the property of the Soviet government? The sale will take place at an auction at Southeby’s in New York City on April 12.

Southeby’s lists the estimated cost of this sale as between $2,000,000 and $10,000,000. The capsule is the only Vostok spacecraft outside of Russia and the only one in private hands. Several museums in Russia have Vostok capsules on display. This one is, without question, a highly desirable artifact.

A brochure about the sale, and the capsule, is located at the auction website: 

http://www.sothebys.com/minisite/pdf/N08781/pdf/N08781_Vostok.pdf 

I can argue both sides of this issue. Part of me wants to see these artifacts in museums on public display; another part recognizes the desires of collectors (who might also loan them for public display) and their desire to ensure the object’s indefinite preservation. What do you think?

This entry was posted in Cold War Competition, Space and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Soviet Vostok Spacecraft up for Auction

  1. Spacegary says:

    In a perfect world I think artifacts like this should remain with museums, but given today’s society it will be sold to the highest bidder. Hopefully it will go to the collector or museum that can best afford to preserve and display it. Like museums, serious collectors see themselves as temporary stewards of these artifacts and take steps to ensure their longevity. Wherever it lands, let’s hope it will made available for many to view and to learn from.

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  2. Gary K says:

    I can see an analogy to the requirement by NASA that anyone wanting a Space Shuttle Orbiter has to find the $20-40 million required to make the vehicles safe for display and also the transport costs.

    I’d like to see artifacts which are deemed important enough to be placed in museums, provided by the government to facilities that can best display and protect the artifacts.

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  3. Robert Law says:

    These spacecraft where paid for out of the tax paid by soviet ciitizens , they are historic artifacts of space exploration which should be on display in museums in Russia and outher former soviet states of the old USSR for every one to see

    they will incourage today’s young people to carry on exploring space

    Robert Law

    Dundee

    Scotland

    Like

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