This museum, the only one of its kind, situated inside an enormous monument to the explorers of the cosmos, is well worth the visit, not least for the nostalgia it should inspire in anyone who grew up in the heady days of the space race.
The displays trace the history of space exploration, including the first interplanetary satellite flights, the first dogs in space and man's journeys to the cosmos. There's plenty of fun gadgetry, plus an excellently conceived display explaining how astronauts survive a space flight, all of which should be interesting for children.
Apart from anything else, the shear aesthetic beauty of the displays should impress. The other-wordly sheen of the hi-tech materials used to construct space craft is extraordinary when seen close-up and, combined with a host of cosmos-themed artwork, the exhibition is a compelling reminder of the time when space exploration was still viewed unequivocally as mankind's last great adventure.
The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics (the Museum, for short) was ceremonially opened on 10th April 1981 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin. The Museum occupies the base of the Monument to the Conquerors of Space, one of the most famous Moscow monuments.
The Museum was conceived by the Russian Chief Space Rocket Systems Designer Sergey Korolyov. Being a designer of rockets and space vehicles, S. Korolyov was well aware of their role in the development of the world science and technology and attended to the task of preserving science and technology inheritance.
Visitors may witness the blazing history of the Russian cosmonautics come to life. That history is full of drama and bitter disappointments, triumphant victories and pride for the human mind. Anyone visiting the Museum feels like the Man of the Space Age; this feeling is caused by the unique artistic decorations of the exhibitions and interiors of the Museum made by the author and art director of the project O. Lomako.
At a short distance from the Museum, at the beginning of 1st Ostankinskaya Street, the Memorial House of Academician S. Korolyov is situated. The exhibitions of the House are dedicated to the life and work of the Russian ingenious scientist, the founder of the practical cosmonautics who led the humanity into the Space.
The Museum possesses rich holdings that amount to over 75.000 items. Among the items, you may find space machinery samples, rare documents, video and photographic materials, works of fine and applied arts, numismatics and philately items. The library of the Museum possesses rare editions on space-related subjects.
The collections of the Museum are extensively hosted by different exhibits in Russia as well as in other countries. The exhibitions of the Museum have been shown in over 40 cities of the world including Melbourne, Tel-Aviv, Mainz, Minneapolis, Lyon, Liverpool, Boston, Seattle, Stockholm, Berlin, etc.
The Museum organizes thematic evenings and meetings with space machinery creators and cosmonauts. The Museum is greatly popular; thousands of people are brought here by their interest in cosmic deeds, and it may well be that for some visitors the acquaintance with the Museum will be the first step along the wonderful and challenging road towards the Space.