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    Sotheby's to auction Soviet space capsule

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    Sotheby's auction house announced on Thursday that it will auction a 1961 Soviet space capsule on April 12, the 50th anniversary of the first manned mission to space.

    Sotheby's auction house announced on Thursday that it will auction a 1961 Soviet space capsule on April 12, the 50th anniversary of the first manned mission to space.

    The Vostok 3KA-2 spacecraft is the twin of the Vostok 3KA-3, which carried Yuri Gagarin into space.

    The 3KA-2 model lifted off 20 days before Gagarin's momentous flight carrying a cosmonaut mannequin (Ivan Ivanovich) and a live dog (Zvezdochka, or little star.)

    The capsule, which was scorched during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, went on display at the gallery of the auction house on Thursday. It is expected to sell for between $2 million and $10 million, the Associated Press reported.

    The interior of the space ship, which contained 815 kg of instruments classed as "secret" until 1986, has been stripped for security reasons.

    The owner of the capsule, who wished to remain anonymous, bought it privately from the Russians years ago and felt the 50th anniversary was an appropriate time to sell.

     

    MOSCOW, February 24 (RIA Novosti)

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