Libmonster ID: CN-964
Author(s) of the publication: YEVGENY KUZIN

By Yevgeny KUZIN, K. E. Tsiolkovsky Museum of the History of Cosmonautics (Kaluga), director

The year 2007 is the 150th birth anniversary of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857 - 1935), the father of cosmonautics. This is also the 40th birthday of our museum, a cultural, scientific and educational compound in Kaluga. Its core and nucleus is Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's home on the Oka's bank, in which he lived for nearly three decades out of 56 years of his life in this town.

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The numerous authentic memorabilia in our custody include photodocuments, books (a whole library), instruments and devices used by the host. Our guests can see models of airships that he manufactured with his own hands... sporting gear, household utensils... drawings sketched by Anna, his youngest daughter, along with personal belongings and family icons. The premises are suffused with the atmosphere of a well-knit and hardworking family. Adding another floor and veranda to his house, Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky carved out space for his private study and workshop. It is in these quarters that he went for solitude, and received visitors flocking in ever greater number. Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov* called the door from the workshop veranda to the flat roof of the ground floor a door to outer space.

The Tsiolkovsky museum is a mecca to cosmonauts and astronauts, including INTERCOSMOS space crews. There are scientists, scholars and artists among the pilgrims, too. The visitors' book is thick with many superlative entries, one of them made by Valentin Glushko, among the cohort of pioneers of our aerospace rocketry elected to the national Academy of Sciences in 1958: "Visiting the home of the prophet of cosmonautics and citizen of the Universe always stirs feelings of reverence. I owe him, my teacher, my life dream fulfilled." Still in his young years Glushko, on reading a Tsiolkovsky article in the press, sent a letter to him, and thus they began corresponding. This correspondence gave a lot to the rocket designer-to-be. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Kaluga in the spring of 2007, and he began his visit with the space pioneer's home, awarding it a presidential medal ("From the President of Russia").

The Tsiolkovsky birth centenary celebrated in 1957 is a significant, red-letter date to us. It was decided to put up a building to house exhibits related to Tsiolkovsky and interplanetary voyages. In fact, the initiative came from Sergey Korolev, the designer of the first aerospace systems (elected to the national Academy of Sciences in 1958).* On September 15, 1957 Korolev attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the Tsiolkovsky house in Kaluga, just a few days before the epic event on the fourth of October the ushered in the space era: on that day, October 4, 1957, our country launched the first artificial satellite of the earth, the famous Sputnik. Thereupon Korolev started sending previous exhibits to us, among them a technological model of the Sputnik, instrument boards of research vessels and, later on, models of interplanetary automatic stations, too. Despite his very busy schedule, Korolev showed keen interest in the progress of construction on the grounds of the Tsiolkovsky memorial house, a due tribute to the man he revered so much and whose works were a practical guide to him.

Visiting Kaluga in June 1961, the world's fist spaceman Yuri Gagarin** laid the first stone to the foundation of the Tsiolkovsky scientific and educational complex. On April 12, 1961, Gagarin made his pioneering space mission. He and his fellow cosmonauts would promote the construction of this complex in all ways. There is a letter he wrote to a plant producing ceiling girders: "We, cosmonauts, cherish Tsiolkovsky's name dearly, and that is why we are looking forward impatiently to the opening of the museum that would feature the greatest accomplish-

* Alexei Leonov had two space missions, in 1965 and 1975. In 1965 he was the world's first astronaut to take a walk in raw space. See: Yu. Markov, "Step out Into Open Space", Science in Russia, No. 2, 2005. - Ed.

See: N. Koroleva, "His Name and Cosmos Are Inseparable", Science in Russia, No. 1, 2007. - Ed.

** See: A. Orlov, "He Opened Window Into Space", Science in Russia, No. 4, 2004. - Ed.

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ments of our people in the exploration of outer space." On October 3, 1967, the museum hosted the first guests whose numbers have topped 10 million by now.

Today this is a major repository of the heritage of the father of present-day astronautics - with as many as 160 works he wrote on technical progress, energetics, air navigation, aviation, aerodynamics, rocket engineering, interplanetary voyages... on engines, turbines, motors and power generators, surface and submarine vessels, and what not. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was a versatile, multidimensional personality. Some of his articles were published still in his lifetime, but quite a lot is in draft notes, manuscripts, drawings, tables and calculations.

All that had one overriding purpose: exploration of outer space. Our planet is "the cradle of intelligence, but we cannot stay on in the cradle forever," Tsiolkovsky argued. Such was the sense and purpose of his life. His range of interests was staggering indeed: rapid-transit ground transportation, flying craft, space velocities (circular and escape velocities), life support systems for space crews, reliable space hardware. Tsiolkovsky substantiated alternative energy uses - of solar energy, that of the wind, waterfalls and tidal waves. He gave thumbnail pictures of the architecture, transportation, communications and industrial complexes-to-be on the global, interplanetary scale. He thought far ahead of his time, and made forecasts fantastic in their scope. He viewed the earth people of the future as free citizens of the infinite Universe inhabiting space townships or traveling about the solar system. Tsiolkovsky wrote on astronomy, physics, geochemistry, biology, sociology and linguistics. An erudite, encyclopedic mind!

A large sunlit hail overlooking the memorial park is devoted to Tsiolkovsky's research activities. Here aircraft and airship models are on display, manufactured to the designs of the great Kaluga thinker and visionary. One model is that of a space passenger liner he designed, too. The stands exhibit numerous drawings and tablets on space phenomena; we see MS pages thick with calculations and formulas. Put on display are rare exhibits indeed - the first editions of Tsiolkovsky's works on space research, including magazine articles. Our guests have a chance to take a look at Tsiolkovsky's booklets published and printed in Kaluga: "Origination of Solar Systems and Disputes on the First Cause of Cosmos" (1925); "The Earth's Past", "The Will of the Universe: Unknown Intelligent Forces" (1928); "Cosmic Rocket Trains" (1929); "For Star Navigators" (1930); "How to Increase the Energy of Explosive (Fuel Combustion) Engines" (1931)...

All that attests to the depth and widest range of Tsiolkovsky's ideas and approaches to space journeys - taking in launchup, space velocity and life-support systems. Tsiolkovsky even visualized extraterrestrial settlements of man. Much of all this has come true, along with dozens of his practical suggestions, such as liquid-propellant rocket engines, automatic flight control systems, lock chambers for space walks, and so on. There is a certain fundamental law and connection between Tsiolkovsky's theories and this country's priority in space studies.

Ten years ago we opened a memorial flat (museum) at Borovsk near Kaluga, a small town where Tsiolkovsky lived in 1880 to 1892. This flat is remarkable in many ways. An obscure young school master of physics and mathematics learned the ropes of the teaching profession there, at Borovsk; it was at Borovsk that he got married and became a family man, and wrote his first works which brought him membership in the Russian Physical-and-Chemical Society (St. Petersburg).

Let us step into another hall of our museum featuring the dominant trends in our space studies and aerospace industry. We are showing copious documentary evidence on the exploits of our rocket pioneers, who in their self-designed and self-assembled gliders visualized space rockets and spaceships of the future; these are Friedrich Zander, Yuri Kondratiuk, Mikhail Tikhonravov, Sergey Korolev, Valentin Glushko and other great minds. Models of the first home-built liquid-propellant engines are displayed side by side with designs of reusable space-

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craft of the Shuttle type and other bold ventures conceived back in the 1920s and 1930s.

We are also featuring the record of the Leningrad Gasodynamic Laboratory and the Moscow Group of Jet Propulsion, this country's ever first bodies that became involved with rocketry. The aerospace industry marked its 60th birthday in 2006. On this occasion we opened a special exposition with a large number of documents, photographs and material bits of evidence on research rockets, space medicine, and on the lives of eminent rocket designers; we sought to trace the story of up-to-date booster rockets back to their origins in the form of conceptual drawings and designs. One such rocket, VOSTOK, is the largest in our collection, it is installed on a patch of open-air ground in front of the museum's edifice. This very rocket carried aloft the first generation of our cosmonauts in 1961, 1962 and 1963.

Telling the historical record of rocket building and space research in our country, we simultaneously acquaint our guests with Russia's present-day aerospace complex. We are showing a collection of research, communication, weather and other orbital satellites, including those employed for studying near space and monitoring of the earth. This collection is expanded by models of automatic lunar and interplanetary probes as well as piloted spacecraft. We have put up small-scale models of the MIR orbital station (1986), which had been a home to Russian and American crews for 15 years, and of the reusable ENERGIYA-BURAN space complex. Understandably for lack of space we are unable to display full-scale mock-ups indoors: like, for instance, the MIR station, counting in the docked-up modules, it weighed 150 tons, and ENERGIYA-BURAN, weighing as much as 2,000 t (on the launching pad).

But we are displaying mockups of other specimens of hardware, though not as large as that (these models were made by space hardware manufacturers together with the originals). These are mockup models of orbital satellites in the COSMOS series (1969 - 1979) as well as a large set of lunar probes, the piloted spaceship VOSTOK (1961 - 1963) and other craft.

We have dynamic simulators imitating the work of real things. We have arranged guided tours for school pupils on jet propulsion and its workings. They have a chance to see the makeup and performance of a liquid-propellant engine, all its nuts and balls and stages - from fuel-tank loading to power conditions. A model of the SALYUT-6 orbital station (1978) illustrates basic endurance flight stages - how space crews brought by a delivery vehicle dock with the station and enter, how they work and train on board, and manage flight control.

Genuine descent modules that have stood all the strains and stresses of the descent trajectory in the terrestrial atmosphere hold pride of place in our collection. These are the modules of VOSTOK-5 (1973), SOYUZ-34 (1979) and other spaceships. Numerous space suits are another eye-catcher, including an extra-vehicular suit equipped with an ejection seat and its upgraded analog of today; a watertight FOREL (trout) survival suit for water landing crews... There is a PINGUIN prophylactic g-load suit for endurance flights, and CHI BIS (lapwing), a pressurized vacuum space suit. EVA space suits designed for extravehicular activities (EVA) in raw space satisfy most rigorous safety standards. These getups include YASTREB (hawk), the first soft suit for space walks and work, and ORLAN (sea eagle), its modern counterpart weighing 90 to 100 kg (about 500 pounds). Some suits and medical-biological fixings have been donated by cosmo-

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nauts themselves (for example, a set of belt physiological sensors). An impressive parade of technological devices, instruments and life-support items is eloquent enough in telling about a cosmonaut's routine, workaday world.

In 2000 we opened a memorial center dedicated to Alexander Chizhevsky (1897 - 1964), a bright biologist and one of the founders of heliobiology, a discipline studying the effect of solar radiation on terrestrial organisms. From 1913 on he lived in Kaluga for 16 years, and was among Tsiolkovsky's good acquaintances. His two-story mansion is still there on Moskovskaya street, in the old center of the town. Domiciled there, Chizhevsky wrote dozens of research articles, hundreds of poems, and even a treatise on literature, "An Academy of Poetry". This enthusiast was apt at painting, too - our museum has over 180 water colors belonging to his brush. We are updating the stock of the Chizhevsky memorial so as to illuminate the versatile talents of this outstanding man in their true dimension.

Kaluga is a standout in that so many prominent space explorers have met there. That is why we find it legitimate to portray their life and activity all in one. Our stock comprises over 60 thousand items, and they keep expanding all along. Today our museum has in its custody materials from the private archives of Korolev, Glushko, Tikhonravov, our cosmonauts, American astronauts and other eminent men and women. We are adding to our collection of newspapers, posters, photo- and cinematerials, and works of pictorial arts on the exploration of outer space.

Our foreign guests are offered guided tours in English, German and French on Tsiolkovsky and a world of his ideas, and on piloted space flights; and as we have already said, high school students can learn about fundamentals of jet propulsion. We are demonstrating primitive Chinese huo-jiang rockets of the 5th to 10th centuries A. D., their Russian counterparts of the latter half of the 18th century, designs of Russian jet thrust boosters for balloons of the 19th century (never realized) as well as engines made at aerospace enterprises for VOSTOK, SOYUZ, COSMOS and INTERCOSMOS carrier rockets, together with the largest one assembled for the second stage of the aerospace system ENERGIYA-BURAN - the combustion chamber of this engine has room enough for several people.

Our guests can make use of sensor displays to get a better idea of the calendar of space events, the history of our rocket engineering, and memorable places connected with the names of Tsiolkovsky and Chizhevsky in Kaluga and Borovsk. Laser displays offer documentary flashbacks on manned space flights, biographies of prominent rocket designers and makers, on lunar and planetary studies; the latest space news is on line as well. We are running small videocafes catering to the younger set - to groups of schoolchildren and lone kid visitors alike. They are presented a wide choice of documentary films like "Our Gagarin", "Space Suits, or Space Cuirasses", "Planet Baikonur" and many other reels. It's a pleasure that some of our guests will stay all day long on the Kaluga memorial grounds.

Very small children, the preschoolers, are our most dear guests. We entertain them with intellectual games and quizzes, and take them on fairy-tale excursions - "Hail, Museum!", "On the Wings of Fairy-Tale and Dream", "Flying in a Balloon", "To Outer Space Within a Rocket"... Those who drop into our planetarium can hear thrilling lectures and see pictures about outer space and the universe. Our cultural and educational center caters to all population groups and interests. School pupils can

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attend classes in natural history and astronomy. This is complemented by film showings, art lectures and concerts, with the house always full on such occasions.

Our expositions keep abreast of the current trends in space research. We give updates on the latest in the aerospace industry, landmark events in the exploration of outer space and cooperative projects with colleagues in other parts of this country. We arrange get-togethers of space veterans, active cosmonauts and researchers. All that is a significant part of our work. Every year we open as many as 20 exhibitions abroad, and people of Belorussia, Finland, Germany, France, Spain, Kuwait and China have had a chance to see our exhibits more than once.

Early in 2007 we opened a memorial exhibition, Chief Designer, on the occasion of Sergey Korolev's birth centennial. The celebrated creator of aerospace rocketry was actively involved in public and teaching activities (late in the 1940s Korolev gave a course of lectures on long-range rockets at the Bauman Higher Technical College in Moscow). This man has made a fundamental contribution to priority achievements of our cosmonautics. Our guests can see his personal belongings, manuscripts, drawings and letters, along with photographs and documentary stuff. A sheet of paper carries his pencilled notes in red for the name of the world's first piloted spacecraft. He sorted out versions: Vostok (east), Vzlet (takeoff), Volya (will), Volna (wave), Vulkan (volcano)... VOSTOK was chosen as the best name in the end.

Our staff is carrying out busy educational activities. Our people are making tours of this country in a course of lectures on Tsiolkovsky and his philosophy, on Chizhevsky's paintings, on the origins of Russian rocket engineering, on the universe and extraterrestrial intelligence, on solar effects, on the International Space Station as a gateway to the 21st century... Our lecturers draw upon little-known historical and technical pieces of evidence, and make use of video- and audiorecordings.

Our people participate in national, international and other scientific forums held here and abroad to report on the results of their studies. In our country such forums are held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Gagarin (formerly Gzhatsk, Yuri Gagarin's home town) and in Kaluga, of course, the town where regular Tsiolkovsky Readings are arranged. We attend conferences of the International Center of the Roerichs, the meetings of the International Astronautical Congress, and Gagarin Readings.

Our publishing activities are just as varied. We are publishing works of Tsiolkovsky and Chizhevsky, the two men who hail from our home town, Kaluga, and materials on their life and creative achievements, on the history and contemporary problems of rocket hardware; and we are putting out museum catalogs, guidebooks and theme booklets.

Our cultural and educational complex, now in the list of the world's handbooks and encyclopedias on space and related subjects, relies on a solid base for further rewarding activities. It has a good future. One entry made in the visitors' book by a woman from Volgograd, mother of four, is a most eloquent testimony of that. "Unique museum. My children are dreaming to become cosmonauts, air pilots and engineers! Russia has an excellent future thanks to place like this."


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