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Soviet space capsule sells for nearly $3 million

A Soviet space capsule sold for $2.8 million at auction in New York on Tuesday, the 50th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin’s historic conquest of space.

The spherical Vostok 3KA-2 Space Capsule went under the hammer at Sotheby’s at the lower end of the $2-10 million range expected by the auction house. The buyer was not immediately identified.

The battered craft has serious historical credentials as the model used for the final dummy run before Gagarin left on his mission. It was used to carry a small dog, Zvezdochka, and a life-sized human dummy into orbit and back.

Their successful journey meant Gagarin’s first human space flight could go ahead.