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The Cosmonauts Exhibition

This is Vostok 6, the space capsule in which the first woman in space, 26-year-old Valentina Tereshkova, travelled out and safely returned to Earth in June 1963.

This is Voskhod 1, the first spacecraft to take more than one person into space, Vladimir Komarov, Konstantin Feoktistov and Boris Yegorov being the three-man crew on its brief mission in October 1964. It looks to my eye even smaller than the Vostok capsule in the next case. There was not enough room for spacesuits.

This is Soyuz TM-14, the first Russian (as opposed to Soviet) space flight, launched in March 1993 with two Russian cosmonauts and a German. They docked with the Mir space station; the German stayed only a week, but the Russians stayed until August and brought a more recently arrived Frenchman home to Earth with them. When they landed, the capsule ended up upside down and they hung suspended in their seats until the recovery team reached them.

This is a memorial bust of Sergei Korolev, the Chief Engineer who made Soviet space flight possible.

Working in politics, my instinct is to provide an ideological critique of all of this (and there is plenty to critique). But sometimes one should take a step back and appreciate the achievements of humanity.

The Cosmonauts exhibition runs only until 13 March in the Science Museum in London. Worth a detour, as the Michelin guides used to say.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 22nd, 2016 08:03 pm (UTC)
Is the Science Museum allowing photography now? We went when the exhibition first opened and they explicitly said no photos.
Feb. 22nd, 2016 08:12 pm (UTC)
They still had the sign up when I saw it last month but none of the guides were saying anything to people who were taking pictures.
Feb. 22nd, 2016 08:18 pm (UTC)
I asked if it was okay to take photos without a flash and got consent.
Feb. 22nd, 2016 08:23 pm (UTC)
Me too.
Feb. 22nd, 2016 08:53 pm (UTC)
Same here. In December.
Feb. 22nd, 2016 08:03 pm (UTC)
Seconding this. If any of you get a chance to see it before it closes, GO . It's some of the crown jewels of the Soviet space program.
The final exhibit is [SPOILERS] and somehow both elegant and terribly moving at the same time.

Edited at 2016-02-22 08:10 pm (UTC)
Feb. 22nd, 2016 11:05 pm (UTC)
I haven't forgiven them for Laika and the other poor dogs - and now they want to send more monkeys.
Feb. 23rd, 2016 08:06 am (UTC)
I'm very glad I went (and I'm glad you got photos!).
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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