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physics

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 […]

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