The fact that Russia/USSR was the first to launch a man to orbit the Earth is unbeatable. Even if we failed to catch up with the Moon landing race, we will forever be the first to conquer the outer space. The Space Exploration Museum in Moscow is there to reveal the adventurous and fascinating story of how the USSR team of scientists, engineers and military test pilots – and even dogs! - made it to the space, around the Earth and even beyond, to Mars and Venus.
This museum, located in the Northern part of Moscow, half way to the Russian Mission Control Center, and near the VDNKh, or All-Soviet Exhibition of Socialist Economic Achievements, is easily accessible with a private guide by metro or by car.
The museum was set up back in 1967 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the launch of the first Sputnik, or artificial satellite (by the way, fully working redundant replica of that device can be seen on display at the museum today). In 2007, the museum was overhauled and enlarged, and today features a coherent and fascinating exposition of unique exhibits – from the first artificial satellites and Vostok and Voskhod space ships to real Soyuz vehicles and MIR space station dummy where Soviet and Russian cosmonauts used to train, which you can enter inside.
The space dogs, Belka and Strelka, next to their space capsule, can be seen at the museum – the paved the way to Yury Gagarin, Soviet test pilot, who was the human to orbit the Earth. The orange space suit that belonged to Yury Gagarin, and the first suit used for EVA, of space walk, by his fellow astronaut, Aleksey Leonov ,are also on display there, and, to complete the educational mission of the museum, you will see models of launch sites around the globe and have an opportunity to watch, on a big screen, the live feed from the Russian Central Mission Control.
Museum is open every day from 10:00 untill 19:00 (Thu and Sat untill 21:00) and it is closed on Monday.
The private guided tour of the museum takes 1.5 hours, and can be coupled with the walk around the All-Soviet Exhibition of Socialist Economic Achievements (VDNKh) full of ostentatious Stalin-era buildings and sculptures glorifying the Soviet way of life, and/or a tour of another landmark structure in this part of the city - the Ostankino TV Tower.
Languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and other foreign languages.