The Museum of CosmonauticsRussian: Muzey kosmonavtiki or Музей космонавтики – one of the largest research and technology museums in the world – is located on the ground floor of the Monument to Conquerors of SpaceRussian: monument «Pokoritelyam kosmosa» or монумент «Покорителям космоса» (VDNKhRussian: ВДНХ metro station). In the museum, you can see exhibits testifying the first achievements and success of national space exploration, including the first spacesuits, the first artificial satellites of the Earth, spacecraft for Moon exploration and exploration of other planets of the solar system. Thanks to the renovation of the museum in 2006-2009, the exhibition space is now four times larger than it used to be. Now, the display comprises eight exhibition halls, a cinema, and a conference hall.
The MUSEUM EXPOSITION
The museum tour starts with ‘Morning of the Space EraRussian: Утро космической эры’ exhibit, with satellite models, the first space station, a model of a mobile station spaceship, the video records of preparation for Yuri Gagarin’s space flight on 12 April 1961 and the launch of his spacecraft, along with some unique photographs, the family archive and personal possessions of the first cosmonaut. There are also the famous space dogs BelkaRussian: Белка and StrelkaRussian: Стрелка on display, both of them stuffed.
The next hall is devoted to remarkable scientists and inventors – Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Sergei Korolev and Friedrich Zander. It exhibits spacecraft designers and the cosmonauts’ photo archives, biographical records, awards, work notes, personal possessions and documents.
A two-storey hall inside the museum is of great interest to visitors. It imitates a spaceship with a model of the main unit of the space station ‘MirRussian: Мир’ (you can enter it), spacesuits, flight mockups for cosmonauts, spaceship models, Moon soil samples, and many other interesting artifacts.
The exposition plunges you into the history of both Soviet and world cosmonautics and guides you through its evolution step by step: from technical drawings and copies of the first miniature rockets to full-size models of spacecraft and satellites, from the first cumbersome spacesuits to the modern ones which cosmonauts can wear comfortably in the extreme conditions of outer space. A large number of authentic exhibits which used to be in space and in space training centres are described with technical accuracy, interweaving with the extraordinary destinies of the pioneers of cosmonautics.
THE HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM
The Monument to the Conquerors of Space was erected in 1964 to the design of architects Alexander Kolchin and Mikhail Barsch, engineer Lev Shchipakin, and sculptor Andrey Fajdysh-Krandievsky. It is a 107-metre high titanium coated obelisk in the form of an arrow reaching up to the sky. The top of the arrow is capped with a rocket lit by the sun. The monument symbolises all the hard work and effort put into the first manned space flight. It is interesting that the monument was placed on the VDNKh territory, as initially the monument was meant to stand in front of the main building of the Moscow State UniversityRussian: Moskovskiy Gosudarstvennyi Universitet or Московский Государственный Университет. The museum was established inside the base of the monument in 1981, exactly ten years prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, as if to summarise the incredibly eventful but rather short Soviet era in the history of the country.
The district around the VDNKh Metro station is one of the most impressive places in Moscow. The famous statue ‘Worker and Kolkhoz WomanRussian: Rabochiy i Kholkhoznitsa or Рабочий и Колхозница’ by Vera Mukhinaa renowned Soviet sculptor (a museum and exhibition centre at present), a memorial house of a member of the Academy of Sciences Sergei KorolevRussian: memorialnyi dom-muzey akademika S. Koroleva or мемориальный дом-музей академика С. Королёва, and the largest exposition museum in the world as well as a recreational centre – this is one of the most popular public areas of the capital. The Ostankino Technical CentreRussian: teletsentr Ostankino or телецентр Останкино with its famous Ostankino TowerRussian: Ostankinskaya bashnya or Останкинская башня is situated nearby. It is easily spotted right from the Metro station exit, just like the Monument to the Conquerors of Space. The Museum of Cosmonautics is situated inside the base of the monument.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com