Soviet dreams: the story of the Russian space programme

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The launch pad that fires astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) today is the same one that took Yugi Gargarin into space for the first time in 1961. It is an enduring symbol of the success of the Soviet space programme. A remarkable new exhibition in the UK tells this story, from the Tsarist era to the launch of the world’s first artificial satellite Sputnik in 1957 to the ISS. Among the 150 exhibits include the five-metre tall LK-3 lunar lander from 1969. Designed to take a single cosmonaut to the Moon’s surface, the lander was declassified especially for this exhibition. Also part of the show are rocket pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s extraordinary 1933 drawings of space flight and rare Soviet posters which fixed the image of the Cosmonaut.

• Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age runs at the Science Museum in London until March 13. For more information visit