Moscow for the space race geek
August 23, 2014 1:13 AM   Subscribe

I'm travelling to Moscow for two weeks in mid-September. Apart from the touristy space monument and Museum of Cosmonautics, what else can a space travel geek see/do/buy in Moscow?

I love everything about the 'space race' era - I've seen every possible documentary about 'Chief Designer' Sergei Korolev, the Sputnik and Vostok projects, and even earlier figures in Russian rocketry like Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. I grew up reading beautifully illustrated children's books from Moscow's Mir publishers.

Apart from the two sites above, what else can I see in Moscow related to the space race era? Are there bookstores where I can buy old Mir titles, or posters? Are there space-themed cafes or restaurants? Shops where I can get space memorabilia? Other museums and sites outside the tourist circuit? Bands, shows, plays, performances, exhibitions about that era?

I have a lot of time, and a friend who speaks Russian who'll be accompanying me. I don't mind making day trips outside of Moscow if there are any places worth visiting nearby.
posted by beijingbrown to Travel & Transportation around Moscow, Russia (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Korolyov, Moscow Oblast

Star City is about 25 miles north of Moscow and looks like it would be worth it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:52 AM on August 23, 2014

This company seems to offer amazing but pricey cosmonaut training simulations, plus tours of Baikonur and Star City. Not a great website but worth a call!
posted by mdonley at 4:53 AM on August 23, 2014

The Polytechnical Museum in Moscow is fantastic. I seem to remember an exhibit about the space race too.
posted by parakeetdog at 9:30 AM on August 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Planetarium?
posted by rada at 12:24 PM on August 23, 2014

Thanks, everyone.

A trip to Korolyov looks like a must-do...there are even tours that can show you around the Russian Mission Control center.

I also discovered that you can do day trips to the town of Kaluga, the 'Cradle of Space Exploration' and hometown of rocket pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

Thanks for the heads up on the Polytechnical Museum!
posted by beijingbrown at 7:54 AM on August 24, 2014

Minor thing, but if you're passing through anyway you should get a photo in Gagarin Square.
posted by tinkletown at 3:04 PM on August 24, 2014

Post-trip report:

The Cosmonautics Museum in VdnKh was fantastic, and a nice bonus was the to-scale mockups of the Vostok rocket and the Buran shuttle in the exhibition square across the road.

The Planetarium seemed to be pitched for young children, so I gave the show a miss...but the building itself was wonderful, and well worth a short detour.

A Muscovite friend also gifted me a Sputnik-themed Podstakannik (tea glass holder), which was the perfect souvenir.

Thanks for the answers, everyone!
posted by beijingbrown at 9:33 PM on September 28, 2014

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