Yury Gagarin Cosmonauts training center
The Yuri A. Gagarin State Scientific Research-and-Testing Cosmonaut Training Center is a Russian training facility responsible for training cosmonauts for their space missions. It is in Star City of Moscow Oblast, a name which may refer to the facility itself or to its grounds.
The facility was originally known only as Military Unit 26266 or в/ч 26266, and was a secret training base for Soviet Cosmonaut candidates. The site was chosen for its proximity to Moscow and other infrastructure that would be essential for its function: Chkalovsky Airbase, and the Yaroslavl railroad. The densely forested area was originally a radar range with some existing infrastructure.
Military physician Colonel Yevgeny Karpov was appointed as the first chief of the cosmonaut training centre or Tsentr Podgotovki Kosmonavtov (TsPK) on February 24, 1960. The centre was home to approximately 250 personnel divided into various departments who were responsible for the development of all aspects of the space program ranging from equipment to the well being of the cosmonauts. These included specialists in heat exchange and hygiene, survival clothing, surgery, and training staff. Initially cosmonaut candidates were housed at the nearby Frunze Central Airfield (Moscow), followed by an apartment block in Chkalovsky before eventually moving to the newly built apartments on site where they would remain with their families throughout training.
Until April 2009 the center was owned and operated by the Russian Ministry of Defense in cooperation with Russian Federal Space Agency. On April 2009, Russia President Dmitry Medvedev signed a presidential decree transferring the center from the Defence Ministry to the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) The current administrator of the GCTC is cosmonaut Sergei Krikalyov.
The facility contains infrastructure essential for the training of cosmonauts across a wide range of experiences, including simulating g-loads, mission specific/suit training, medical observation/testing and astronavigation.
Key GCTC facilities include: