The Museum of Cosmonautics and the Planetarium in Moscow

by Alexander Popov

The Cosmonaut Museum

Sputnik, Gargarin and Soyuz are familiar to every space fan: Russia, together with the USA, is the world’s leading space travel nation. With the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the former Soviet Union brought the first human into space in 1961. In the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics you have the opportunity to experience the fascination of space travel very close.

Everything about the cosmonaut museum

The Museum of Cosmonautics is located in northeast Moscow, in the Park of Achievements of National Economics (Metro VDNKh). The roof of the low-rise Museum is provided with a 107-meter-high tower, which rises into the sky and resembles a rising rocket in shape. The museum building can therefore hardly be overlooked from afar. The Monument and the roof shine in titanium and, depending on the incidence of light, this creates a silvery sheen.

On this map you can see the location of the museum in the Russian capital.

The Museum has a total area of ​​8,500 square meters. There is no space museum of comparable size in the world. Countless exhibits representing the history of Russian space travel are set up in different thematic areas.
Is it your dream to touch the very first satellite Sputnik and see Yuri Gargarin’s spacesuit? Probably the most exciting space museum in the world is in Moscow and you need a visa to get there – you can find out how to get it here!

The exhibits

Many of the exhibits on display in the Museum of Cosmonautics can only be viewed here. There is no other museum in the world that can offer you such a variety in terms of space travel. One of the exhibits is, for example, the base block of the famous Mir space station, which is also accessible to guests.
You can also see personal items of cosmonauts, such as their space suits. Of course, the modules of the Soyuz space capsule or the Russian space shuttle Buran are also included. Countless photos, tools and documents complete the exhibition.
The entire Museum is designed to be extremely interactive. The training equipment that you can see in the Museum is comparable to that used by cosmonauts in preparation for space flight in Russia.

The lunar exploration

This area of ​​the Museum is also extremely interesting. Here you can get to know key exhibits such as the first lunar spaceship Luna-1. The spaceship Luna-3, which took the first photos of the “dark side of the moon”, can also be seen here. Luna-9, which was the first spaceship ever to land on the moon, and the Luna-16 module, with the first lunar vehicle, can be viewed.

The Monument to the Conquerors of Space in the Alley of Cosmonauts

The Alley of Cosmonauts is located in the Park of the Achievements of the National Economies (VDNH). It is a very wide pedestrian street with various statues of the most important figures of the Russian and Soviet conquests of space. The Museum of Cosmonautics is at the end of this avenue. The titanium-covered rocket is also the Monument to the Conquerors of Space. The rocket points in the direction of the sky and leaves behind a huge stylized cloud of smoke, at the foot of which is the Museum.

The Monument to Yuri Gagarin – the first person in space

The cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first person to fly into space on April 12, 1961. The flight took only 108 minutes, but it made him a living legend. Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth exactly once on this flight and wrote space history with it.
The Monument to Gagarin is placed on a 42.5 meter high pedestal on Leninsky Prospect. The base is reminding of the silhouette of a rocket. The statue itself weighs 12 tons and is made of titanium and other metals used in space travel.

The visit to the Museum of Cosmonautics

If you want to visit the Museum of Cosmonautics, then you should plan about two to three hours. Most of the exhibits are labeled in English, so you can get an overview even without knowledge of Russian. The Museum also allows you to take photos, but you have to buy a photo pass beforehand. Entrance to the Museum costs 300 rubles, which is the equivalent of around $ 4. You can buy the ticket directly at the Museum ticket office.

Opening hours:
Monday: day off
Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday-Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Reach for the stars in the Moscow Planetarium

The Moscow Planetarium is one of the largest in the world and the oldest in Russia. In the mid-2000s, the Planetarium was closed for a few years after a bankruptcy, but a planetarium is actually a must for a space nation like Russia – so the attraction was extensively renovated and reopened in 2008. In the Planetarium you can see, among other things, the space capsule with which Yuri Gagarin was the first person to fly into space.

Where is the Planetarium located?

The Planetarium is located in the west of Moscow, next to the Moscow Zoo. On this map you can see exactly where the Planetarium is located:

After a renovation in summer 2008, the Moscow planetarium was reopened. It’s an incredibly popular attraction among Muscovites with an educational and scientific mission. Here you have the opportunity to see the small as well as the large star room. A 4-D cinema, an observatory and the Lunarium complete the offer. In the big room, planets and stars are projected onto the dome.
In addition, visitors can watch films there about the collision of galaxies and black holes. Other attractions include the Lunarium, where visitors can blow up the sun with a meteorite, a rocket that has a hydrogen engine and can start, and a Mars rover that can be used for a ride.

The visit to the Planetarium

If you want to visit the Planetarium, you can buy tickets for 100 (small star room) to 700 rubles (VIP ticket – the equivalent of 9 dollars) directly in the Museum.
Opening hours:

Monday-Wednesday-Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.


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