Ten Reasons to Visit the Moscow Cosmonautics Museum

PHOTO by Ruslan Krivobok / RIA Novosti
Check out our list of things to do there, then come and experience it first-hand

The summer holidays are just around the corner, so now's your chance to take some time off to enjoy the city and the attractions it has on offer. Why not visit the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics?

Take a look at the module which carried Belka and Strelka to space and back

In 1960 two dogs, Belka and Strelka, literally skyrocketed into fame as they became the first living beings to make it to space, orbit the Earth and come back alive. After passing away, the animals were stuffed and are now on display in the very same museum as their space capsule. If you bring your kids, don’t tell them the fate of the other two canine team members, Chayka and Lisichka. They both died during the launch.

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is located beneath the Monument to the Conquerors of Space, erected to commemorate the launch of Earth’s first artificial satellite.


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Decipher Yuri Gagarin’s handwriting and watch his launch

A dedicated stand displays school notes taken by world’s first cosmonaut. A screen nearby loops the video of his launch, where he says his famous phrase “Poekhali!” (translated as “let’s go!”).

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Marvel at the strength and endurance of cosmonauts from the 1960s

The weight of the spacesuit and associated equipment on display in the museum is over 40 kilograms: it should be noted that due to size restrictions, cosmonauts had to be relatively short.

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Learn about space experiments

Experiments are conducted in space on a regular basis, for example, flowers and vegetables are grown in zerogravity. Growing in the air, upside down, they do look a little silly.

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Walk through a life-size replica of the Mir space station

The core module (or base block) of the space which was succeeded by the ISS, is so small that you have to wonder how cosmonauts and astronauts could have moved, slept and lived there.

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Discover space cuisine

SPP stands for the Russian translation of “food serving facility”. Looking at the assortment of tubes and bags containing cosmonauts’ meals, it’s easy to imagine spacemen having a snack while looking out over our planet.

I strongly recommend you visit the museum someday: it’s very well designed and has a certain character to it which is hard to put into words..


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Take a look at the “indoor” space apparel

You may picture a typical cosmonaut or astronaut in a sealed spacesuit, but that’s not quite accurate. The proper attire for the ISS is a tracksuit, special underwear and even robes: the latter are worn after training or sanitary procedures.

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Experience what it’s like to be inside the mission control center

One of the screens in the museum transmits information on space missions in real time.

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Take a stroll through the world’s launch sites

One of the exhibits has an interactive map of all cosmodromes and space launch sites from all over the world, complete with background information and intreresting facts.

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Take a look at photos which Fyodor Yurchikhin took from space

Fyodor Yurchikhin is a Russian cosmonaut who now hosts the Cosmos program aired by the Vesti 24 channel. He is also a photographer who has taken many breathtaking photos in space. The museum has not only Yurchikhin’s photos, but equipment used by his predecessors to take photos and videos from space: a Nikon, a Canon, a Kiev-60 and other cameras.

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All photos courtesy of the Moscow Cosmonautics Museum