FIRST-HAND HISTORY BY ONE OF ITS MAIN ENGINEERS.
FEOKTISTOV, KONSTANTIN. 1926-2009. Autograph Manuscript Signed, 11 pp, in Russian, 295 x 210 mm, titled: "Spuskaemyi modul bespilotnogo kosmicheskogo korablya «Vostok» s manekenom vmesto kosmonavta [Descendible Module of the Unmanned 'Vostok' Spacecraft which Carried a Mannequin Instead of a Cosmonaut]," with 2 hand drawn sketches of the capsule, dated in autograph 12.1.96, a first being a first hand history of the Vostok program by the designer of its capsule, stapled upper right corner, each leaf numbered upper right.
Provenance: Konstantin Feoktistov, Sotheby's Russian Space History, March 16, 1996, lot 33.
Konstantin Petrovich Feoktistov flew as a cosmonaut on Vokshod 1, but was primarily an OKB-1 engineer who had worked on the Vostok capsule as well as the Sputnik satellites, Soyuz space capsule and later worked on the Salyut and Mir space stations. The present manuscript recounts the early unmanned space flights (both successes and failures) beginning on May 15, 1960 that led up to the first successful manned space flight of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. He mentions the mission of two Russian dogs, Belka and Strelka, aboard Sputnik 5 as well as attempts to put a dummy ("Ivan Ivanovich") into space before taking the chance of sending a human being into orbit.