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Whether it be social, recreational, or professional, some of what represents me is here. Post a comment, or contact me at Dallas@embracespace.ca should you so desire.

The posts are in reverse chronological order, and are pegged by topic on the links to the left. For more of an introduction, please see the About this site page listed above.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Moscow Trip Day 4: The Cosmonautics Museum

One of the highlights of my Moscow tour was seeing the Cosmonautics Museum! Walking through there was truly like walking through history. I was impressed by the display and by the attention and focus placed on space. So come on! Let's see what Russian space is all about!
The museum is not hard to find. Stepping outside of the metro, you notice this tribute to Russian rocketry.

Two of my friends, Paul and Andrew.
One thing I really enjoyed about Russia was the sheer optimism when it came to space. I have enjoyed all things space-related since I was young, but I was often the outlier. Sure, other people liked space, but it wasn't celebrated in such a grandiose way, as seen here.



While the entire scene stood out, the stairs on the left were wide enough to climb. As can be seen, Yuri Gagarin is proudly on display and his thumb is a different colour than the rest. Seeing a chance to hold hands with history, a few of us climbed up the stairs.
Andrew and Yuri
I was not dressed formally enough for this meeting.


Despite my best efforts, I was not able to quite capture the scale here.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
If you've been paying attention, you'll likely notice that you've seen this guy, Tsiolkovsky, in many of my pictures from Russia. So, who was he? Well, he is considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics! He designed rockets, spaceships for interplanetary travel, space stations, invented the rocket equation, and opened Russia's first wind tunnel. Tsiolkovsky's work inspired the world, with other legends like Oberth and Goddard following in his footsteps. Beyond his numerous scientific achievements, Tsiolkovsky believed that humanity needed to expand itself off-world, that our species would not survive or thrive without gaining this greater perspective.

Growing up reading science fiction legends such as Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, it was slightly later in my life that I learned about Tsiolkovsky. Once I did, many pieces of the space puzzle fell into place, making more sense, and I realized I had a lot of reasons to admire and respect someone I had only just discovered. Speaking of science fiction, for any Star Trek fans out there, the science ship in Star Trek: The Next Generation's second episode, "The Naked Now", is called the Tsiolkovksy.


And now, into the museum!


Convenient that some of the plaques were also in English.






I really enjoyed the artistry of the poster below.


I find this next ship to be fascinating. I imagined it sailing around, with its many antennas, looking impressive. I have seen quite a few large antennas in my time, the largest being the 46 metre Algonquin Radio Observatory in Canada, but I had never seen a ship with so many large antennas before. The engineering and the manner of operations must be extensive since it is quite the performance just maintaining a single antenna on the ground.


Going around the corner, I saw a model of Tsiolkovsky's interplanetary rocket!

"It's not rocket science" Oh, but it is!



Paul in front of the Women in Space display
More Women in Space!

And even more! It was nice to see this representation, and more to come!
A model of the Buran, more pictures of it later.

While parabolic flights had been used as a training tool for years, they're becoming increasingly popular. The most popular of which has been deemed "The Vomit Comet". As mentioned in an earlier post about Microgravity, the "weightlessness" felt in space is not actually that, but rather a sensation of free falling. While there are many ways to experience this feeling on Earth, the best way to train for the microgravity in space is to take a parabolic flight. Following a flightpath as seen below, the crew experiences a few seconds of freefall which makes them appear to be floating.

If you are not training to be astronaut, several companies are trying to make this option a reality, if you have enough money. Recently, Sports Illustrated actually did a photoshoot of one of their models under this "weightlessness".

Plants in space!
Growing plants in space is a very cool and interesting idea, with a lot of positive side effects. Astronaut Bob Thirsk told us at the ISU this year about an onion that began to sprout onboard the ISS. The astronauts enjoyed having a plant to take care of so much that they let it sprout instead of eating it.



This spacesuit looks like it is being punished for something.
Interesting seeing the museum's Mir and comparing it to Energia's Mir, seen in my last post.



Another model of the Mir space station
Space fashion!

Showcasing expeditionary trips


A blurry photograph, but I like it.

More of the Buran

Sea Launch
The idea of launching rockets from ships on the ocean is incredible and exciting, to me.


Shiny!
These next set of photos were really exciting to me! A small tribute to Edwin Hubble, for whom the space telescope is named! His work in astronomy greatly expanded our perspective on the universe. Before his work, in 1919, the leading idea was that all of the universe consisted within the Milky Way galaxy. By looking at special stars, called Cepheid variables, Hubble was able to prove that many groups of stars, in fact other galaxies, existed too far away to be within the Milky Way! We all know that people used to think the Earth was flat, well, imagine living in a time when we thought the Milky Way was the entire universe!

As a sidenote, my parents often liken me to him because he too traveled far and wide to pursue his career and, like me, started wearing a cape later in his life. A cape, you say? Yes, coming from a long line of lawyers, he moved to England, donned a cape, accent, and pipe, and became an astronomer, as the story goes. As for me, well, you'll see more photos of my cape and cloak soon enough, I'm sure.
I love books so much!
Edwin Hubble's book!


I like the reflection here, quite artistic if I may say so.

With all the photos of capsules from Energia, it was nice to see this perspective, the bottom!


Space art!

So much going on here!
Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space!

Another hall of women in space, featuring Canada's Roberta Bondar in the centre
Members of the Apollo-Soyuz project


Finishing up at the museum, we went walking and found an exhibition of sorts. There were many things to see, but the exhibition grounds were kind of closed down at the moment.



Paul, Andrew, and Vatsala
Another amazing day in Moscow, we learned a lot and had an excellent time while doing so. Thank you for sharing in my adventure, I have a few posts to share, mostly concerning Russian night life, so stay tuned!

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