Vostok 2

Vostok 2

Infobox Space mission
mission_name = Vostok 2
spacecraft_name =
shuttle =
insignia = vostok2patch.png insignia_size = 200px
sign = Орёл (Oryol - "Eagle")
crew_members = 1
launch_pad =
launch = August 6, 1961
06:00 UTC
Gagarin's Start
begin_spacewalk =
end_spacewalk =
landing = August 7, 1961
07:18 UTC
51° N, 46° E, near Krasny Kut
duration = 1d/01:18
orbits = 17.5
apogee = 221 km
perigee = 172 km
period = 88.4 minutes
altitude =
inclination = 64.8°
distance =
mass = 4730 kg
crew_photo =
crew_caption =
previous =
next =

Vostok 2 was a Soviet space mission which carried cosmonaut Gherman Titov into orbit for a full day in order to study the effects of a more prolonged period of weightlessness on the human body.

Unlike Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1, Titov took manual control of the spacecraft for a short while.

The flight was an almost complete success, marred only by a bout of space sickness, a malfunctioning heater that allowed the inside temperature to drop to 6.1 °C (43 °F), and a troublesome re-entry when the re-entry module failed to separate cleanly from its service module.

The re-entry capsule was destroyed during development of the Voskhod spacecraft.

As of 2008, Titov remains the youngest person to reach space. He was a month short of 26 years old at launch.


Number in parentheses indicates number of spaceflights by each individual prior to and including this mission.
*Gherman Titov (1)

Backup crew

*Andrian G. Nikolayev

Reserve crew

*Grigori Nelyubov


Vostok 2, carrying cosmonaut Major Gherman Titov, was launched from Baikonur at 0600 UT on Sunday 6 August 1961. At 0745 UT Radio Moscow interrupted its transmissions and the famous wartime radio announcer Yuri Levitan announced the flight.

Immediately after entering orbit Titov felt very disoriented and uncomfortable. He tried to eat lunch at 0930 UT and "supper" at 1400 UT. When he tried to eat on the sixth orbit he vomited.

could hear the cosmonaut's voice and Reuters' monitoring station outside London could pick up the telemetry beacon signals on 19.995 MHz.

Radio specialist Sgt James Duffy in Arlington, Virginia picked up greetings in Russian from Titov to the American people. The Soviet Embassy in Washington provided a translation. This must have happened around 1450 UT because this was the only pass over North America before Titov went to sleep. The frequency was either 15.765 MHz or 20.006 MHz, probably the latter. The BBC monitoring station picked up Titov's call to ground stations, his report about the temperature (22 °C) and his call-sign "Oriel". In it is stated that Titov had to make contact on shortwave radio twice an hour, regardless of position.

Titov tried manual attitude control on the first orbit as he came out of eclipse at 0720 UT and later at the end of the seventh orbit. At 0738 UT, after completing the first orbit, Titov and Khrushchev exchanged greetings.

Titov transmitted greetings and goodnight wishes while flying over Moscow at 1516 UT. Titov then slept from 1530 UT until 2337 UT; however, before going "to bed" he suffered from vertigo, nausea and headaches. Despite this Titov was able to sleep — he overslept by 35 minutes, but still felt bad. However, at the end of this twelfth orbit he began to feel better. The cosmonaut ate breakfast at 0245 UT.

The monitoring station of the Swedish Telecommunications Agency at Enköping near Stockholm received the telemetry beacon at 0534-0552 UT as the spacecraft streaked across the launch site on its penultimate orbit around the earth. A Japanese monitoring station said it picked up its last signals from Vostok 2 at 0710 UT.

During re-entry the instrument section of Vostok was still attached to the spherical re-entry vehicle by straps and Titov suffered the same nerve-racking experience as Gagarin. Aerodynamic heating finally separated the two modules and the re-entry vehicle descended safely. Titov ejected from the capsule and descended by parachute to land at 0718 UT on 7 August 1961 near Krasniy Kut, in the Saratov district. The successful landing was announced by Radio Moscow at 0904 UT.

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