Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Cosmonaut Museum

This really is a great museum, and it’s in an area where there is quite a lot of interest. 

Nearby is the huge VDNK exhibition park (another post needed for that), the Moscow monorail (yet another post to come), and Ostrankino Tower (the tallest free-standing structure in Europe and 7th tallest in the world - see post dated 22 May 2013). Beyond the Exhibition Park is a pleasant forest park, also called Ostrankino, which backs on to the Botanic Gardens. So there’s a good weekend’s worth of sightseeing in this area. If you have a week or so in Moscow, I strongly recommend spending some time around here.

To get there, take the yellow line metro (line 6) north to VDNK. You can’t miss the museum – it has a magnificent statue of a rocket taking off on the roof. 

Every European city square seems to have a statue of some guy on a horse pointing at something in the distance. Statue designers take note - please,  no more guys on horses - THIS is a statue.

  Entry (at the time of writing) was the more or less usual price for Moscow museums of 250 roubles (about $7 US) - plus another couple of hundred roubles if you want to take photographs. 

Yuri Gagarin (first man in space) welcomes visitors. Gagarin is very highly regarded in Russia.
A replica of Sputnik - the first thing humans flung into space, is top left.
Belka (foreground - means 'Squirrel') and Strelka ('Arrow'). They went into space in August 1960 and survived the trip.
One of Belka's puppies was given to President Kennedy's daughter.

There's a full-sized replica of the Mir (means 'peace' or 'world') space station to explore...

...hmm, not quite the Starship Enterprise.
The funny looking craft in the middle (with the solar panel) is a Lunikhod. One was sent to the moon in 1970 and wandered a round for a while taking snapshots. Its still there. The spacesuit on the right was worn by Michael Collins in Apollo 11. I'm not sure how it ended up here - a search of Google shows it was auctioned in 2009, so maybe this museum bought it.

So that's what it's like inside a Soyuz.
I like the little globe on the dashboard - so they can see where they are I suppose.
Diorama of Vostok 2, whose crew landed about 1800 kilometres off target in a Siberian forest.
Pinnacle of contemporary technology one minute - campfire the next.

The space shuttle program that didn't happen. Replica of a Russian Buran shuttle
And if you happen to be in Gorky Park, there's one of the original Buran shuttles there. Unfortunately, you can't go inside.


  1. I've have been walking by this shuttle for more than a year now. I have always thought that this is a replica. It turns out to be a real one. How ignorant can a person be. hahahahahaha..

  2. Nice post Colin,
    I am living in Moscow since 2008 and this place was in my list even before I come to Moscow. However that year the museum was under construction and I had to wait one year to be able to get in and check what is inside.
    You are right, this museum is a great place. The presentations inside are very interesting and also very important, not only for Russians but also for human kind. I too admire this place a lot.
    Thanks for your article.

    One note: Buran shuttle is actually a prototype, which was used for test, not the original one and this summer they moved it to VDNH. Yes, means it is closer now to this museum :)
    Here you can check the picture of an 'un-winged' Buran:
    And here you can see a pic from its new location: