Museum of Space Exploration and Rocket Technology in St Petersburg – Visit Space-Dogs Belka and Strelka!

by Elena on March 25, 2014

cosmonaut museum st petersburg russia steika and belkaEvery kid dreams of being an astronaut, so if you’re visiting St. Petersburg with little ones make sure to ask Ulko Tours to add a trip to the Cosmonautics Museum into your itinerary.

Housed in the Peter and Paul Fortress (meaning you get to see lots of sights all rolled into one afternoon!), the museum offers a range of exhibits exploring the history of cosmonautics, or space exploration, in the very space in which the Soviet Union first set up laboratories in the 1930s to research military rocket science.

The museum is housed in the Ioannovskiy Ravelin and opened in 1973, offering visitors a chance to see the history and development of space ships in the Soviet Union and Russia. Perfect for the older members of your party who remember the thrill of seeing those early space missions, as well as for those too young to fill out a space suit just yet, the museum’s exhibits include rocket engines, a Soviet era re-entry capsule, a number of cosmonauts’ space suits, and even the space-dogs Belka and Strelka (taxidermied, of course), who were the first animals to survive being orbit.

There’s also the St. Petersburg flag that adorned the Mir Space Station for 161 days in the early 2000s, and which was returned to Earth in time for the city’s 300th Anniversary celebrations in 2003. Kids are bound to enjoy looking at space-rocks (meteorites to you and me!) and imagining these hurtling into the atmosphere at colossal speeds.

Perhaps the most visually impressive aspect of the museum is the Cosmonaut Memorial Monument built over the museum itself. This huge steel construction appears to hang in space, its arc culminating in a rocket pointed at the sky.

The St. Petersburg Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocket Technology can be found at 3, Petropavlovskaya Krepost, close to the metro stations Gorkovskaya and Sportivnaya, and is open Thursday through Monday from 11am to 7pm and Tuesday 11am to 6pm (aside from the last Tuesday of the month, when it is closed). Admission is 50 Rubles for adults and 40 for children or students.

Make a day of things by visiting the Peter and Paul Fortress itself, the space museum, the old prison, and the Peter and Paul Cathedral which houses the oldest Orthodox bell tower in the world! Contact Ulko Tours now to work out your trip itinerary!

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