This is not the world of Star Trek, or any other science fiction flick. So get out of that crazy fantasy world of yours, come back to reality, and prepare yourself for the space technology of the 20th century. In other words, the Memorial Museum of Astronautics is really not much if you can't shrink your imagination away from the infinity of space into what could be one of the smallest museums you've ever been in.
It is located under a 100-meter high titanium monument (that is actually possible to overlook if you're not paying attention to your surroundings) constructed in 1964 to commemorate the launching of the first artificial satellite from Earth. Once past the entrance, you enter a hallway of fascinating sci-fi artwork created by a mix of famous or young artists. You could spend hours just looking at the twisted imagery of paintings that most normal people could not even conceive in their dreams.
But having entered the main room, you're overwhelmed by a sense of florescent stillness and tranquility being beamed out from the well-designed interior. There are six main display areas containing fragments and artifacts from the most important achievements in Russian Astronautics. Satellites, space suits, and even cosmic food rations are on display throughout this surprisingly small exhibition, because you suddenly realize that's mainly it.
Even the short documentary videos on Astronautics, and a slide film in the cinema hall at the end of the room that are screened only once an hour do little to compensate. All in all, it leaves you with the feeling of wanting a great deal more. Nevertheless, if you happen to be in the vicinity of VDNkh, check out this possibly not more than 20- minute walk through the Museum of Astronautics for a piece of history you will not regret.
The Memorial Museum of Astronautics
111 Prospekt Mira
Tel.: 283-7914, 283-1837
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tues. to Sun., closed last Fri. of every month
Entry: 2 rubles for students, 10 rubles for everyone else, 25 rubles for taking photos, 40 rubles for video shots.