Visit to the center of Star City. Situated 50 kilometers east of Moscow, Star City has been the main training center for Russian astronauts since the ‘60s. It is also where they live, often even after retirement. During the Soviet times it was a secret location under military jurisdiction, not even being recorded on maps. For some years now, however, it has been run by Roscosmos, the federal space agency, under civil jurisdiction but still considered a closed city, only accessible to foreigners via a cumbersome security procedure and with a special permit. We will visit the technical area, where we will be introduced to astronauts in training, the conditions of life in orbit, and the history of the Russian space program. Afterwards we will visit the hydro-laboratory where the astronauts learn the techniques necessary to venture outside their spacecraft while on a spacewalk. We will then admire a life-sized reproduction of the MIR orbital station and visit the unique CF-18 centrifuge, which is used to simulate the extraordinary gravital changes experienced by astronauts when entering and exiting Earth’s atmosphere.

Visit to the Cosmonaut Training Center Museum. Founded in 1967 at the behest  of Yuri Gagarin, the museum is dedicated to the different steps of the conquest of space, from the legendary Vostok to the International Space Station. It has several unique objects and documents on hand, including the space suits worn by Gagarin and Korolev, their personal belongings, and the scientific instruments they had to use while in orbit.