Sergei Korolyov, a famous rocket scientist and spacecraft designer for the Soviet Union, was born in the city of Zhytomer, Ukraine and so when visiting Zhytomer in February we had to make a stop at this unassuming gray building.
Inside you'll find the Korolyov Cosmonaut Museum which has the reputation as being the best space museum in Ukraine. One of the first things you come upon is this landing capsule that held one of the Soviets animal cosmonauts. They also have a photographic tribute to Laika and all the other animal cosmonauts that gave their life to the space program.
The item I was most excited to see was a Soviet lunar rover that never made it to the Moon.
Over on my food blog, Marvel With A Mango, I'm going to highlight some of the cosmonaut food they had no display as well.
You can also get a close up look at a Soviet landing capsule. Ideally, the capsule would land in water somewhere near the planned splash down area but clearly based on the instructions on the outside there was the possibility of it landing on the ground by someone who spoke English.
You have instructions letting you know that there is a cosmonaut inside and you need to get them out as soon as possible.
I also enjoy the slightly broken English of "Help To Go Out!"
Outside the museum you had two rockets "on display" meaning they were turned on their side and balanced on some cinder blocks.
If only they would turn those rockets skyward it would be much more impressive...
...and maybe even the cat that was sitting near the rocket would be more impressed. Did you notice the cat the first time?
In America, I'm sure this museum would be easily double or triple the size with the ability to get some nice corporate sponsors. I would imagine it would be akin to The Cosmosphere museum in Hutchinson, Kansas which is a great space museum located in an unlikely location. I visited the Cosmosphere in 2011 and they have a surprising amount of Cosmonaut items for an American museum with the highlight being this small metal ball. Almost unknown in America is that the fact that the Soviets were on the moon a decade before Neil Armstrong took his stroll. The Luna II probe traveled to the Moon in 1959 and shot these little silver balls that have "CCCP" written on them dozens of time in pentagons. This particular ball never made it to the Moon and instead resides in Kansas.
I was reminded of the Moon Ball from this display of a model of the Moon with all the different American and Russian missions marked.