From Stonehenge to the ISS: a weekend at the Cosmonautics and Aviation Centre

17 november 2021

The Cosmonautics and Aviation Centre at VDNH invites visitors to themed guided tours, lectures and a film screening on 20 and 21 November. Visitors will learn about the history of the International Space Station—the largest project in human history, find out what Stonehenge has to do with astronomy and how much space exploration costs. Attendance is free by prior registration.

On Saturday, 20 November, the centre will hold the Outposts in Space guided tour dedicated to the launch of the first ISS module, Zarya, in 1998. Visitors will find out why the Almaz and Mir orbital stations were created and how the International Space Station works today. You will also see a full-size model of the Mir complex that consists of the base block with three modules: Kvant, Kvant-2 and Kristall. Three guided tours will be held on 20 November—at 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Prior registration is required.

Another event organised for this important date is the ISS: The History of Construction lecture. The lecture will start at 6:00 p.m. Visitors will learn about the construction of the orbital station, how astronauts live there today and what they do. ISS development prospects will also be discussed during the event. Admission is free by prior registration. The lecture will also be streamed live on VDNH's official Vkontakte page.

At 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, the centre will also hold a lecture from the Art in Space series, titled Archaeoastronomy: Megaliths and Ancient People's Concept of Space. Art historian and art expert Diana Dzhangveladze will talk about megaliths—large stones that were used to build structures or monuments in the Bronze Age. Some of these structures are older than the Egyptian pyramids, and the most famous one—Stonehenge in the south of England—was built from stones of about 25 tonnes each. Visitors will find out who built these structures and for what purpose, how megaliths relate to ancient people's ideas of space and astronomical observations and learn about the latest findings of the young science—archaeoastronomy. Registration is required.

At 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, 21 November, the congress hall of the Cosmonautics and Aviation Centre will show Georgiy Daneliya's iconic film about fantasy intergalactic travels, Kin-dza-dza! Link to registration.

At 6:00 p.m., a themed lecture—The Costs of Space Exploration—will be organised for International Accounting Day. Space exploration uses the most advanced technology, and the equipment used in the process—satellites, spacecraft, spacesuits, life support systems and so on—is very complex and elaborate. Assembling and launching a spacecraft, especially a manned one, takes not only a lot of work but also a lot of money. The lecture will talk about the funds required for training professional astronauts, why the cost of spacecraft is truly astronomical, how the price of rocket fuel compares to regular petrol and how much it costs to travel to space as a tourist. Prior registration is required. The lecture will be streamed live on VDNH's official Vkontakte page.

Visitors are required to present a valid QR code to attend the events at the Cosmonautics and Aviation Centre. You will be asked to present a QR code and proof of identity at the entrance. Children under the age of 14 can visit the centre with parents who hold a QR code. Children aged between 14 and 18 can visit the centre without a QR code or parents. Visitors are expected to wear face masks inside the buildings and observe social distancing everywhere on the grounds. More information is available on the official website.

The full list of guided tours offered by Russia's Main Exhibition is available on the VDNH sightseeing tour agency's page.

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