Which Soviet launchers and satellites became a breakthrough in practical cosmonautics, how everyday life goes at the orbital station and what detective skills are used to explore the universe – this and much more will be discussed at VDNKh. Excursions and lectures will be held at Cosmonautics and Aviation Center January 12-16.
These free activities are for adults and children over 12 years. To take part in them, you must first register.
See models of famous spacecraft and make observations
The Cosmonautics and Aviation Center is the largest space museum in Russia, with a unique collection of exhibits. On January 12, the center will host an excursion “People and space”. Participants will be shown models of the legendary Soviet missiles, ships, satellites, engines and interplanetary stations. For example, the collection contains a model of Sputnik-1, the world’s first artificial earth satellite, which was launched into orbit on October 4, 1957. This date is considered to be the beginning of humanity’s space age.
Guests will also see a model of the Soviet Mir complex. This is the first manned orbital station in history, which existed in space near Earth from 1986 to 2001. More than 23 thousand scientific experiments have been performed on it and two records have been set for the stay in space (by the Soviet and Russian cosmonaut Valery Polyakov and the American astronaut Shannon Lucid). In total, more than 100 astronauts from different countries have visited here. The Mir station was sunk in the Pacific Ocean due to outdated equipment and lack of financial resources to maintain its operations.
In addition, during the tour you can get acquainted with the biographies of Soviet scientists who stood at the origins of Russian cosmonautics or made a major contribution to its development. It is not necessary to go into orbit to explore the universe and make scientific discoveries. This was proved by designers Sergei Korolev, Nikolai Pilyugin, Mikhail Reshetnev and Vladimir Barmin, as well as engineers Valentin Glushko and Vladimir Chelomey. They never flew into space, but their names are known both in our country and far beyond its borders. VDNKh’s guests will find out what projects they have worked on and see their personal belongings. The “People and Space” tour will be held at 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00.
In the lecture “Astronomical observations from the surface of the earth” they will talk about one of the oldest instruments for studying the universe – a telescope. The lecture takes place on January 15 at 16:00. The first person to point a telescope at the sky was the Italian physicist, mechanic and astronomer Galileo Galilei. He also built telescopes with 8x and then 32x magnification. Modern instruments have come a long way, because with their help, scientists study distant galaxies or look for new ones. During the lecture, the audience will be explained how astronomical observations are made from the earth’s surface, what are the characteristics of optical astronomy and radio astronomy and what a telescope consists of. Serey Popov, astrophysicist, doctor of physical and mathematical sciences, professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences and popularizer of science, will serve as a lecturer.
After he has finished his story about telescopes, the participants will go to Industritorget. It is located under the layout of the Vostok launch vehicle. No later than 17:30, several telescopes will be installed there, which will be aimed at the planets of the solar system. Everyone will be able to see beyond the earth and make their own astronomical observations. A walk to Industritorget will only take place in clear weather, but if the sky is overcast, only one lecture will take place. You can register for both events here.
Learn about everyday life at the orbital station and space exploration
The “Outposts in Space” tour will be dedicated to domestic long-term orbital stations. We will talk about the forerunners of the Mir complex – a series of manned orbital stations Salyut, whose crews explored space near Earth and the atmosphere of our planet, performed astronomical, radio astronomical and meteorological observations. The duration of the flights was limited by the resources of the subsistence system and the fuel reserves. Visitors to the Cosmonautics and Aviation Center will learn how such long-term stations were created and what tasks the teams on board faced. The guide will also talk about the first ever docking of two manned spacecraft (Soyuz-4 and Soyuz-5 1969), the goals of developing the Almaz and Mir stations, and what everyday life looks like at the International Space Station, which has been in orbit since 1998. You can join the tour on January 16 at 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00. Registration is already open.
The space program at VDNKh ends with a lecture on detective skills that can be useful when studying the Universe. How to make an identikit of a “space refugee”? How to solve the case of methane theft on Mars? Where do you find witnesses in outer space and how do you gather evidence there? This and much more can be discussed on January 16 at 16:00. The lecture will be given by the popularizer of science, the creator of the Open Space community, the blogger Vitaly Egorov, better known by the nickname Zelenyikot. You can register for the event here.
All guests must present a QR code confirming their COVID-19 vaccination, a previous illness or a negative PCR test, as well as an identity document when entering the room. Children under 14 years can participate in events in the company of an adult with a QR code, teenagers from 14 to 18 years – without a QR code and in the company of an adult. You can read more about where you can get a QR code here.
What more will delight VDNKh this winter
VDNKh guests will find many seasonal entertainment. The largest ice rink in Moscow is open to them. Visitors can ride along the ice roads that extend from Pavilion no. 1 “Central” to Pavilion no. 58 “Agriculture”, including around the famous fountains “Friendship of Peoples” and “Stone Flower”. For children from three to eight years, a small arena is equipped with an area of 900 square meters. On weekdays, the ice rink can be visited from 11:00 to 23:00, on weekends and public holidays – from 10:00 to 23:00. Technical break – from 15:00 to 17:00. There are changing rooms, two skating stations, a first-aid station, nine street food shops and a restaurant. There are three main rental pavilions, as well as a children’s and express pavilion for guests with their own skates. Ticket sales are open on the website.
This winter, VDNKh is hosting premieres, theme shows at museums and outdoors. Until 31 January, for example, you can join a walk dedicated to the New Year’s traditions in the country’s main exhibition. And from December 25, they will continuously take a tour of the Special Purpose Exhibition of Economic Achievements, whose participants can get to know the history of the exhibition and see the cars from the first people in the state. For lovers of outdoor activities and sports, VDNKh clubs for mountaineering, figure skating, rogaine, a tubing slide and much more will work.