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cosmonauts

Dr Valentina Tereshkova and Vostok 6 in Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age © Science Museum

Dr Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, today declared that she would like to join the director of the Science Museum on a space flight during the launch of the museum’s most ambitious exhibition ever, Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age. With the director, Ian Blatchford, and Dr Tereshkova was Sergei Krikalev a veteran of six space flights and eight space walks who, until very recently, held the record for the amount of time in space – 803 days, […]

Buzz Aldrin visits the Science Museum’s Cosmonauts exhibition. Credit: Science Museum

On 20 July 1969, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. Yesterday Buzz visited the Science Museum’s Cosmonauts exhibition, which opens to the public on the 18 September and has at its heart the 3.5 ton Lunniy Korabl (“lunar ship”) – or LK-3. The single cosmonaut moon lander was built by the USSR in the same year that Apollo 11 took Buzz into the history books and was moved to […]

Drawing by Tsiolkovksy for the film ‘Cosmic Voyage’ showing a cosmonaut exiting a rocket via an airlock, 1932. Credit: Archive of Russian Academy of Science

The ideas that fuelled the birth of the space age dawned much longer ago than many realise. In their research for our Cosmonauts exhibition, Science Museum curators traced the origins of the first great leap into space by Yuri Gagarin in 1961 to events that took place well before the turn of the 20th century. Russian fascination with the cosmos first flickered into life in the 1880s with the appearance in print of the first translations of Western science fiction novels […]

Part of the Lunar Lander is moved through the Museum. © Science Museum / Visitlondon.com and London & Partners

For the last two years my job has been to work out how to transport rocket engines, gigantic spacecraft and 150 other incredible artefacts from Moscow to London and into the Cosmonauts exhibition. We are borrowing artefacts of all shapes and sizes – from small pencil drawings of early twentieth century rocket designs to Vostok 6, the full-size spacecraft that transported the first women into space in 1963 – from museums, private individuals and even the Russian Space Agency. We […]

SOKOL space suit worn by Helen Sharman in 1991, manufactured by 'Zvezda'.

During the preparations for our landmark exhibition, Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age, we reunited Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman, with her spacesuit around a quarter of a century after she first wore it for her pioneering mission to the Mir space station. Helen’s journey began in 1989 when she, then a food technologist, answered an advertisement that she had heard on her car radio:  “Astronaut wanted. No experience necessary.” With Timothy Mace, she was eventually selected from over 13,000 […]

By Pete Dickinson, Head of Communication, Science Museum Half a century after he risked his life to become the first person to go on a spacewalk, Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov today joined Science Museum Director Ian Blatchford to announce the museum’s most ambitious temporary exhibition to date, Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age, supported by BP. Tickets are now on sale for the exhibition, which opens on 18 September 2015 and will feature the greatest collection of Soviet spacecraft and artefacts ever […]

On this day (3 November) in 1957, just one month after the launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, a dog called Laika was sent into space, become the first living thing to orbit our planet.

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. Credit: Archive of Russian Academy of Sciences

Look closely at this picture from the Russian module of the International Space Station and you will see two images of a man with a white beard. Known as the grandfather of Soviet space travel, this man dreamt of international space stations as early as the 1890s and cosmonauts still pay homage to him today. Born on this day (17 September) in 1857, the man’s name is Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. Tsiolkovsky’s contribution to the science of space travel is diverse and […]