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The Original Cosmonauts

(SOVIET SPACE PROGRAM.) Yuri Gagarin et al.. Photograph Signed by the First Six Cosmonauts, the Vostok cosmonauts, side-by-side in uniform

[Soviet Union, 1964]

Color photographic print with Soviet stamp dated in 1964 on verso. Approx. 8 x 11 in. print. Slight fading, else fine.

Signed by all six original Soviets to go into space, the Vostok cosmonauts:

Yuri Gagarin (first man in space, Vostok 1)
Gherman Titov (third man in space and the second to orbit the earth, Vostok 2)
Andrian Nikolayev  (the first group flight, Vostok 3-4),
Pavel Popovich (the first group flight, Vostok 3-4),
Valery Bykovsky (five days in earth orbit, still the record for solo manned flight, Vostok 5)
Valentina Tereshkova (the first woman in space, Vostok 6).

This signed photograph is a wonderful icon of the heroic first days of the Space Race at the height of the Cold War. Authentic Soviet autograph collections from the earliest cosmonauts are rarely available in the West. The first four Vostok cosmonauts are dead, and Gagarin’s tragic death in a 1968 plane crash have helped to make his autograph in particular one of the most valuable in the field.

$22,000