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The Cosmonautics Memorial Museum

The Cosmonautics Memorial Museum in Moscow 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.

Opening hours: Daily - 10:00 to 18:00, except Mondays and the last Friday of each month.
Extra Services: Kiosk and cinema.

• SHORT HISTORY

The world's first satellite was sent into space from the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957. Soon after, a contest was announced to find the best design for a monument to mark this historic occasion, and five years later the Explorers of the Cosmos monument was unveiled on Moscow's Prospekt Mira, in honour of those who had begun the space era.

The upper part of the monument comprises a vast slanting obelisk of steel and titanium that stretches to a height of 99 metres, topped by an eleven metre rocket pointed toward the heavens. The obelisk's base is faced with granite tiles decorated with reliefs showing cosmic themes and TASS reports about Soviet space explorers.

In 1981, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the first manned space flight, the base of the monument was opened as the Cosmonautics Memorial Museum.

• ADDRESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION

Address: 111, Prospekt Mira, Moscow, 129515, Russia
Telephone: +7 (495) 283-7914, +7 (495) 286-3714
Transport: VDNKh Metro station

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