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Cosmonauts

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Thu, March 23 2017

Ivan Ivanovich and the Persistent Lost Cosmonaut Conspiracy

Before humans flew into space, dogs, chimpanzees, and flight-test dummies led the way. Ivan Ivanovich, who flew in the Soviet Korabl-Sputnik program in the early 1960s, was one such dummy. In a heady atmosphere of Cold War tension, Soviet secrecy, and uncertainty about the dawning space age, garbled retellings of Ivan's extraordinary story helped foster one of the most tenacious Space Age conspiracy theories: The Lost Cosmonaut Theory.

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Test Flight Mannequin named "Ivan Ivanovich" in Space Race
Wed, August 19 2015

Zvezda Service Module Celebrates 15 Years in Orbit

Through the commotion of a very successful July which included the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the 46th anniversary of Apollo 11, and the Museum’s very first Kickstarter project, there is one anniversary that we may have inadvertently overlooked. In July, the Zvezda (Russian for “star”) module of the International Space Station (ISS) celebrated 15 years in orbit.

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Zvezda Module
Fri, March 6 2015

Happy Birthday to the World's First Woman in Space

Happy birthday Valentina Tereshkova! March 6th marks the 78th birthday of the world’s first woman to fly in space.

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The first six cosmonauts
Fri, November 15 2013

The Soviet Buran Shuttle: One Flight, Long History

This month marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the sole launch of the Soviet space shuttle Buran. The idea of a reusable space plane has existed for decades among space enthusiasts and predated the idea of a rocket carrying humans into Earth orbit.

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Medal, Bronze, Buran
Fri, March 15 2013

Women in Space

March is Women’s History Month and those of us trained as women’s historians know that our topics have particular currency in the third month of the year.  But for women in space, the month to celebrate really should be June.

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Sally Ride
Mon, July 26 2010

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

July 15-24 marked the 35th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), the famous “Handshake in Space.” ASTP was the first American-Soviet space flight, docking the last American Apollo spacecraft with the then-Soviet Soyuz spacecraft. This joint effort between the two major world players was based on an agreement signed in 1972, and it set a precedent for future joint efforts, such as the Shuttle-Mir Program and the International Space Station.

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Stafford and Leonov Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) Handshake
Mon, April 12 2010

Why Yuri Gagarin Remains the First Man in Space, Even Though He Did Not Land Inside His Spacecraft

Every year as the anniversary of the first human spaceflight approaches, I receive calls inquiring about the validity of Yuri Gagarin’s claim as the first human in space.  The legitimate questions focus on the fact that Gagarin did not land inside his spacecraft. 

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Yuri Gagarin

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