Cosmonautics Space Museum Moscow

If one has followed the space race, watched Sci Fi T.V. shows, or marvelled at the shuttle launches, then a visit to this museum is essential! A trifecta would be, the Smithsonian, London Science Museum and the Moscow space and cosmonaut museum. At last, this writer has closed the triangle in Moscow.

It was this man, immortalised at left, Yuri Gagarin, who became the first human in space. Considering the time period, understanding of space and the Soviet desire to be seen as a superior system, at the expense of everything, it was a VERY brave thing to do!

Following so soon after the Sputnik satellite the Russians were ahead in the space race, but the sleeping giant of the U.S had been stirred.

You can visit this museum using the metro, or combined with Vadim Zadorozhny’s Technology Museum  a private car becomes the most efficient mode, allowing both to be covered in the one day.

At the base of the soaring rocket (top of page right) there are these stunning sculptured buttress's. These are true 'Soviet Era' art and powerfully reflect the glory of the moment. A rather less heroic figure poses with one of his favourite art works.
They must have been confident of their success though because plans for this monument, emphatically dedicated to the "conquerors of space," were set in motion three years before Vostok 1 even launched.
Sputnik, this is what started the whole space race. Russia surprised the world by launching the first manmade object to orbit the earth in 1957. Its beeping radio signal awoke the world and remained active for 22 days. Sputnik itself burnt up after 3 months orbiting the earth.

Whilst at this exhibit I started chatting to two Irish ladies. Both recalled their father taking them outside one night to watch Sputnik glide serenely across the Irish sky. An image and point of history engrained in their minds. To see this museum and the Sputnik backup was high on their 'to do list'. 'We have a connection to this, otherwise this is not our type of museum".

Moon exploration gallery.

Whilst the Russian have maintained a space programme the lunar exploration and eventual landings were the time when their technical leadership was being rapidly overhauled.

The Russians. leading up to the U.S. moon landings, had some technological fists  with landing the first rover type vehicle on the surface of the moon. They were also the first to impact a probe onto the moons surface.

 

Russian Space capsule of the type Gagarin was hurled aloft in. The physics was similar to artillery ballistics. Shoot it high and fast. When it reaches its apogee it will gradually return to earth!  Soyuz Space Capsule, the mainstay of the Russian space programme in the middle years and the same technology that is currently lifting astronauts and cosmonauts to the international space station.
A fine example of later era Russian space suit. A donation to the Moscow Cosmonautics museum. Michael Collins space suite from Apollo 11!

Another Moscow located Space musuem

Korolev Rocket & Space Corporation Museum