Overview of Vostok Ii

The Soviet Union’s Vostok II mission was one of the most important early space flights. It was also a remarkable achievement by young cosmonaut Gherman Titov to achieve his mission as he felt unwell through most of his flight. 

First 24 Hour Orbit of Earth 

Vostok II’s flight, in August 1961, was made historic by cosmonaut Gherman Titov, who was sent into orbit for 24 hours on August 6th. Titov was used in an experiment to try and discover more about how a day in space, and a long period of weightlessness, would affect the human body. 

Youngest Person in Space 

Titov’s 17 orbits of the Earth surpassed that of fellow countryman Yuri Gagarin, who was the first man in space in Vostok I. Gagarin made one complete orbit of Earth, so the 17 planned for Titov was a massive leap forward. Titov had not yet reached his 26th birthday, and he remains the youngest person to be sent into space from Earth. His one major problem was suffering from space sickness as he left the Earth’s gravity.

Manual Control 

Titov, unlike Gagarin, partially controlled the Vostok II manually during its mission. When over Africa, and on his first Earth orbit, Titov took over the control of the orientation his ship manually. He was to do so again after the seventh orbit. 

The early space flights were also seen by politicians as something that reflected on their country in a positive way. It proved how technologically advanced and daring they were, and, at the height of the Cold War, both the Soviet Union and the United States were eager to outdo the other. During the Vostok II mission, then Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev exchanged greetings with Titov, and images of the cosmonaut were sent back to Earth, via the onboard camera. Titov felt unwell during most of his flight, and only started to recover in the latter part of the mission.

Parachute Landing 

For his return to Earth, Titov ejected from his capsule, and parachuted to solid ground. The Vostok II spacecraft was accidentally destroyed in 1964, following an experiment that went wrong. 

The space race of the late 1950s to the early 1970s was partly politically motivated. But, it also showed a more positive side to the human race. The achievements by astronauts and cosmonauts alike were remarkable, with landmarks being broken at regular intervals. Vostok II was significant, as it proved that man could live a day in space.