by Irina MARTYNOVA, Head of the Scientific Publishing and Advertising Department of the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics (Moscow)
In 2006 the Moscow government took a decision on a complete reconstruction of the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, which was located in the basement of the "Conquerors of Outer Space" monument from 1981 near Prospekt Mira. The work was completed in 2009, and a renovated unique complex, whose area increased from 3,000 m2 to 8,500 m2, received the first visitors.
The stele in the form of a rocket directed up wards, leaving a noctilucous plume in the sky, installed in honor of the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite in 1957, is one of the most known and beautiful monuments in Moscow. The "Conquerors of Outer Space" monument (architects, Mikhail Barshch and Alexander Kolchin, sculptor, Andrei Faidysh-Krandievsky) is 110 m high, its incline angle is 77°, and the weight of its surface part amounts to 250 t.
Initially its authors intended to make a smoke-colored glass monument. However, later on, after accepting the proposal of the chief designer of rocket and space systems Academician Sergei Korolyov*, who was interested in everything related to outer space, they preferred solid and non-ageing (practically non-corrosive) polished titanium used in rocket engineering. The 1.5 mm thick panels made of this metal and glistening like mirrors cover the bearing structure like scales.
The sidewalls of the stele base represent a high relief with numerous bronze figures, symbolizing its main idea, i.e. work of scientists, engineers and workers, who contributed to a breakthrough to outer space. One of them represents Yuri Gagarin**, the first citizen of the Earth, who visited outer space. Nearby is a granite monument to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935)***, the founder of theoretical astronautics.
In 1964, the opening ceremony of the monument took place, and three years later of the Avenue of Her ... Читать далее