Monument to the conquerors of space
The monument was inaugurated on November 4, 1964, on the seventh anniversary of the successful launch of the artificial satellite of the Soviet Earth, which went down in history as the first step in the conquest of outer space by man. The monument is a rocket that flies skyward and leaves a silver plume, lined with polished titanium plates. The total height of the monument is a unique structure with a height of 100 m at an inclination angle of 77 degrees, its weight is 250 tons. The location of the monument is such that it can be seen from any point of VDNH.
A loop with a rocket mounted in an ilobate style, lined with polished granite. On both sides there are bronze reliefs of multiple figures representing Soviet people of all professions who participated in the long history of space exploration. The stylobate also reproduced the texts of the TASS messages in the most important stages of the Universe’s development.
Places / Sculpture
The monument to space explorers is a unique monument located in the memorial park near the VDNH metro station, the second highest among Russian monuments. The famous “rocket” was launched on October 4, 1964, on the seventh anniversary of the launch of Sputnik-1, the first artificial satellite on Earth.
The monument is made in the form of a rocket that rises upwards, behind which a long column of exhaust gases extends from the ground and plays the role of a stylized obelisk in honor of the USSR, a power that opens the space for everyone. On the outside, it is completely, except the base, lined with polished titanium plates, in which the sky is reflected.
At the base there are reliefs that represent the people who have contributed to space exploration: scientists, designers, engineers, workers and, as a result, an astronaut who climbs the ladder; Not without the brilliant Soviet symbolism: a hammer and sickle, as well as Vladimir Lenin, frozen in a characteristic pointing pose. In front of the monument there is a monument to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky as a symbol of the transition from the human scale to the cosmic scale.
The height of the monument is 107 meters, of which 11 meters is the height of the rocket.
- 1957: “As a result of the hard work of research institutes and design offices, the first artificial satellite of the Earth was created. On October 4, 1957, the first satellite was successfully launched in the USSR.”
- 1961: “On April 12, 1961, the world’s first Vostok space satellite”, with a man on board, launched into orbit around Earth in the Soviet Union. “
- 1965: “… March 18, 1965, at 11 o’clock in Moscow, during the flight of the Voskhod 2 spacecraft, man was first released from space to outer space.”
1966: “On February 3, 1966, at 9:45 p.m. Moscow time, the Luna 9 automatic station, launched on January 31, landed on the surface of the Moon in the Storm Ocean region, west of the craters Reiner and Maria February 4 at 4 hours 50 minutes Moscow time, Luna 9 station began a landscape study and the transfer of its image to Earth. ”
1966: “On April 3, 1966, at 9.44 Moscow time, the Luna 10 automatic station was launched into the selenocentric orbit (near the moon) and became the first artificial satellite of the moon.”
The authors of the monument: the sculptor Andrei Faydysh-Krandievsky, the architects Mikhail Barshch and Alexander Kolchin, the engineer Lev Schipakin.
The idea of perpetuating the space achievements of the USSR on a monument worthy of its scale appeared after the launch of the first artificial satellite of the Earth, Sputnik-1, on October 4, 1957.
They decided to mark the opening of the space age with the opening of the obelisk monument, which was supposed to be located in the Sparrow Hills. In March 1958, a contest for the best design of the monument was announced, whereby more than one thousand works from 114 cities of the USSR and foreign countries were presented; After being frankly inadequate, the commission selected 356 works that were presented to the public at the Manege exhibition.
The project “Creative people” by the sculptor Faydysh-Krandievsky, the architects Barshch and Kolchin and the engineer Schipakin arrived first, however, the project was too out of the Vorobyovy Gory complex, so they decided to erect the monument in a moor at the entrance of VDNKh.
According to the project, the height of the monument did not exceed 50 meters, and it was proposed that the rocket loop be lined with translucent smoked glass with night lighting inside. However, the glass solution was not the most practical, and at the suggestion of rocket designer Sergey Korolyov, they decided to cut it with polished titanium plates, since titanium is not subject to corrosion. In addition, in the process of processing the project, the height of the monument increased to 107 meters.
Sergey Korolev played an important role in the construction of the monument: he not only managed to supply little titanium for its construction, but also moved to the Ostankino district to personally monitor the progress of the construction. On its own initiative, the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, which would be housed in its stylóbato, was included in the design of the monument. As the designer’s wife later pointed out, site visits have become a regular part of her daily walks.
Another interesting fact of the history of the monument is related to Sergey Korolyov: initially, among the people in the high reliefs of the base, the sculptor Faydysh-Krandievsky wanted to portray the designer, but Korolev rejected this idea, believing that there were more people worthy of such honor.
It is curious that the 250-ton steel structure of the monument was assembled and manually lined on the ground, and then lifted with special cranes.
The grand opening of the monument took place on October 4, 1964, on the seventh anniversary of the launch of Sputnik-1. After 3 years, a park with a commemorative avenue of Heroes of Space was placed around it, where later busts and monuments were erected to the pioneers of rocket science and astronauts.
On April 10, 1981, on the 20th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight, in the stylized part of the Monument to space explorers, the Cosmonautics Memorial Museum conceived by Korolev was opened.
Currently, the Monument to the Conquerors of Space is one of the most popular attractions in Moscow, and together with the nearby VDNH, it has become an unmissable point in the tourist routes. The Cosmonautics Museum located below it also gained no less fame, which is considered one of the most interesting and advanced museums in the capital.
The monument to space explorers is located at 111 Prospekt Mira (not far from the main entrance to VDNKh). You can reach on foot from the metro station “VDNH” Kaluga-Riga line