After classes today (including a new class called “Russian Song,” which is exactly what it sounds like) we met up in the lobby of our dormitory with our guide Alex for the last time, and set off on the metro for the Museum of Cosmonautics, a must-see location for any student of Soviet history, the Space Race, or museums.
As we walked through the “inspection” sequence of machinery, space suits, and diagrams, Alex, sympathetic to our small avionautics and space-related vocabulary banks, told us in English all about the first satellite (Спутник 1), man (Юрий Гагарин), and woman (Валентина Терешкова) sent into space (all, of course, by the Soviets), as well as a great deal of information which we may or may not have wanted to know about the construction and operation of space toilets.
The museum also has several art displays, including paintings on space-historical themes, jewelry and glasswork inspired by photographical views of the cosmos, and an entire hall full of propaganda posters.
As we left the building, the associated titanium monument “to the conquerors of space” glittered like a frozen flame in the light of the orange streetlamps. We can only hope, that the rest of our time in Moscow will leave us with impressions that shine just as bright.