The history of Russia is inextricably intertwined with space, and even a simple walk around Moscow confirms this.
For full immersion, one can stay at a hotel aptly named «Cosmos.» In summer, its facade reflects the sun so well that the fiery star seems to be right near you.
Right in front of it, under the huge Monument to the Conquerors of Space, there is the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics. The museum demonstrates what astronauts feel, wear and eat, and what they have seen in the endless space. There are photographs of all cosmonauts from Russia and the USSR. Another Moscow museum presents a similar subject — the Museum of Aviation and Cosmonautics.
The Moscow Planetarium offers an interactive exhibition, 4D cinema, movies projected on the dome, and food in tubes in the museum shop.
Monument to the Conquerors of Space (sculptor: A. P. Faidysh-Krandievsky; architects: M. O. Barshch, A. N. Kolchin; designers: L. I. Shchipakin V. N Laptev) was opened in 1964 on the Alley of the Heroes of Space, on the day of the seventh anniversary of the launch of the first orbiting satellite, to commemorate the Soviet nation's breakthrough in the space exploration.
It is made of metal structures with a veneer of polished titanium, which is used in rocket production, and depicts the plume of a rocket (which tops the obelisk). The highest part represents a unique engineered structure 110 m tall at an angle of 77 degrees, and weighing 250 tons. The side walls are decorated with bronze multi-figure high reliefs in praise of the scientists, engineers, and workers who create space technologies.
The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is located beneath the Monument to the Conquerors of Space — a unique Moscow monument established in celebration of the first artificial orbiting satellite launch and opened on November 4, 1964. The ceremonial opening of the museum took place on April 10, 1981, the 20th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's space flight. The museum collections preserve samples of space engineering, personal items of rocket and space industry representatives, archival documents, films and photos, coins and stamps, postcards and memorial tokens, and visual and decorative art items.
The museum and the Alley of the Heroes of Space adjacent to it have been recently renovated and are now open to the public. There are special areas with interactive exhibits, including training systems identical to those used at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. The museum also has a miniature Operation Control Center where one can see the International Space Station in real time and talk to the crew, a Buran interactive cabin, and an interactive and informational classroom designed as a cosmic community room.
Cosmonauts Alley was designed as a visual continuation of Prospect Mira. The alley contains busts of cosmonauts and founders of Soviet era rocket production — Gagarin, Tereshkova, Komarov, and others, and ends with a monument to Tsiolkovskiy.
The monument to S.P. Korolev (sculptors: S.A. Shcherbakov, S.S. Shcherbakov; architects: A. V. Kuzmin, I. N. Voskresenskiy) was placed in 2008 on the Alley of the Heroes of Space. The sculptors presented Korolev deep in thought with his eyes focused on the Solar System bronze composition just in from of him.
The Museum of Aviation and Cosmonautics has nine rooms demonstrating historical materials and rare objects in chronological order.
The museum holds more than 1,200 items, including a collection of aviation and space vehicle models (over 300 items), full-scale engines, aviation weapons and munitions, as well as a considerable number of original sculptures dedicated to aviation and space.
There are also a video hall and a sci-tech library (over 12,500 books, magazines and albums). The museum's photograph collection has around 31,000 historical photos and negatives.
The Moscow Planetarium lets you discover the amazing world of stars, scientific achievements, and advanced technologies. Here you can learn many new and interesting facts on the history of astronomy and space exploration, conduct scientific experiments in the Lunarium interactive museum, view the earliest astronomic devices in the Urania museum, and even touch real meteorites.
The renovated planetarium has many wonderful surprises for visitors. For example, a 4D movie theater with Small Star Hall equipped with moving seats, and the Sky of the Planetarium — the largest dome screen in Europe, on which colorful and dynamic pictures of the starry sky are projected.
Monument to Yuri Gagarin (sculptor: P.I. Bondarenko; architects: Ya.B. Bolopolskiy, F.M. Gazhevskiy; designer: A.F. Sudakov) was opened on July 4, 1980 on Gagarin Square (called Kaluzhskaya Zastava Square until 1968). The monument is located such that it can be seen even from the Moscow Ring Road.
One of the tallest monuments in Moscow, it resembles a rocket flying towards the sky. The 33-meter titanium figure of a cosmonaut tops a 40-meter pedestal with prominent ribs. At the bottom, there is a model of the landing section of the Vostok spacecraft that carried the first human into space on April 12, 1961.
The building of an old observatory in Sokolniki Park had been abandoned since the 1980s, but recently it has been renovated and provided with modern equipment. Starry Sky observatory can accommodate 12 to 20 people.
It has a powerful automatic telescope with a primary mirror diameter of 406 mm for nighttime observation of distant space objects, and a solar telescope with a 90 mm lens for daytime observations. The only Moscow planetarium where an image can be projected on the dome allows viewers to see constellations even on cloudy days.
Near the observatory is the «Astral Gate,» which leads to the Astronomers» Garden. In the garden one can take a journey through space by walking along models of orbits and the Solar System planets.
While the children are examining the shining and sparkling starry sky in the Luna play hall, adults can have a rest in the dome-shaped Orbital Platform pavilion.
The grounds of the Astronomers» Garden also include a model of the Vesta meteorite, which fell into a crater, and a sun dial.