The Vostok was built in 1960, and under the name Vostok 1K, flew in six unmanned test missions prior to 1961. Resembling some sort of metallic insect, the Vostok was roughly 4.4m tall and 2.3m wide. The Vostok 3KA could hold a single cosmonaut and was built to survive 10 days in space.
Gagarin’s trip was, of course, secret and accounts of the flight didn’t surface for quite some time after the fact. But after the initial trip on this day in 1961, the Vostok 3KA flew in seven more missions, five of which were manned. For it’s final flight, which was part of the Vostok 6 mission, the 3KA flew cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova up into orbit to test the effect of space on the female body.
The Vostok 3KA may have lacked the long lifespan of the Soyuz, and the glamour of the Apollo missions, but it holds the very important distinction of being the first craft to carry man into space. [Braeunig and Astronautix via Wikipedia]