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Science Museum

Last chance to see critically acclaimed Cosmonauts exhibition at the Science Museum

Late evening opening until 22.00 announced for Friday and Saturday evenings in March.

Upcoming one-off Cosmonauts events include comedy night with Robin Ince and Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin in conversation with Brian Cox.

There are just four weeks left to visit Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age at the Science Museum. This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, sponsored by BP, has thrilled both critics and the public since it was officially opened by the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, in September 2015.

Bringing together the most significant collection of Russian spacecraft and artefacts ever to be exhibited in the UK, Cosmonauts tells the remarkable story of scientific and technological ingenuity that launched the space age with a record number of firsts for the Soviet Union.

In 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, and four years later sent the first human into space—Yuri Gagarin. However, the story of space exploration is much older. Cosmonauts explores the science and technology of Russian space travel in its cultural and spiritual context, revealing a deep-rooted national yearning for space that was shaped by the turbulent early decades of the 20th century. The exhibition features rocket pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s extraordinary 1933 drawings of space flight, depicting spacewalks, weightlessness and life in orbit almost thirty years before it became a reality.

The Soviet Union followed the great success of Sputnik 1 by launching the first animal, man and woman into orbit in just six years. Among the star objects on display in the exhibition are real cosmonaut-flown spacecraft, including Vostok-6, the actual capsule that carried Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to travel into space, safely back to earth in 1963. Visitors have the rare opportunity to see inside this historic spacecraft in its first ever UK appearance.

Although the remarkable achievements of the American Apollo Moon programme were widely broadcast at the time, Russia’s own competing manned Moon programme was kept secret until 1989. Revealed for the first time in the UK, visitors to Cosmonauts can see the monumental five metre tall LK-3 lunar lander, the finest example of its kind in existence today. Designed to take a single cosmonaut to the Moon’s surface, three Soviet lunar landers were tested successfully in space although none were sent to the Moon.

Cosmonauts represents a major collaboration between the Science Museum, the State Museum Exhibition Centre ROSIZO and the Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos. The support of many other institutions and individuals in the UK and Russia has also been crucial in the development of the exhibition.

The exhibition is open until Sunday 13 March 2016 at the Science Museum in London. The Museum will be open until 22.00 every Friday evening until 13 March, as well as Saturday evenings on 5 and 12 March. Tickets for the exhibition and all events can be booked online at sciencemuseum.org.uk/cosmonauts

Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age has had additional support from ART RUSSE (Major Funder) and the Blavatnik Family Foundation.

For further information and images please contact the Science Museum Press Office:
Julia Murray, 020 7942 4328/julia.murray@sciencemuseum.ac.uk

Upcoming Cosmonauts events

Notes to Editors

About the Science Museum

As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement. More information can be found at sciencemuseum.org.uk.

About BP plc

BP is one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies. We provide customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to keep engines moving, and the petrochemicals products used to make everyday items as diverse as paints, clothes and packaging.

BP's businesses are organized to deliver the energy products and services people around the world need right now. Our Upstream segment is responsible for our activities in oil and natural gas exploration, field development and production. Our Downstream segment is the product and service-led arm of BP, focused on fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals. We employ around 85,000 people in almost 80 countries worldwide.

BP has been working in Russia for 25 years in collaboration with leading Russian oil and gas companies. This currently includes a strategic shareholding of 19.75% in Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company. Our commitment to Russia goes beyond the development of oil and gas reserves and our overall support of local social, cultural, educational and charity projects has been the largest among foreign companies investing in Russia.

We have demonstrated our commitment to UK communities over the last 45 years through support for arts and culture and for the education of young people. Find out more about BP in the UK and the BP in the Community programme at www.bp.com/uk

About ART RUSSE

ART RUSSE, led by entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrey Filatov, was founded in 2012 with the aim of developing a greater awareness and understanding of Soviet and Russian cultural contributions. In particular it focuses on collecting and increasing international awareness of Russian art dating mainly from the period 1917 – 1991, an artistic period known as Socialist Realism for which ART RUSSE has become the point of reference. Its aim is to increase appreciation for this genre through supporting exhibitions, lending to international museums and galleries, and publishing books and catalogues on key artists and artefacts.

About The Blavatnik Family Foundation

The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of many leading educational, scientific, cultural and charitable institutions in the United States, Europe and throughout the world. The Foundation is headed by Len Blavatnik, an American industrialist and philanthropist. Mr Blavatnik is the founder and Chairman of Access Industries, a privately-held U.S. industrial group with global interests in natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, emerging technologies, life sciences and real estate. For more detailed information, please visit: www.accessindustries.com.

About ROSIZO

The National Center for Museums and Exhibitions, ROSIZO, is a Federal State Budgetary Institution under the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. In cooperation with leading Russian and international institutions ROSIZO arranges exhibitions of Russian art around the globe and implements large-scale projects within the bilateral years of culture. Some of the most recent initiatives include Kazimir Malevich and the Russian Avant-Gard (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn; Tate Modern, London), Palladio and Russia From Baroque to Modernism (Museo Correr, Italy) and Russia-Switzerland (Château de Penthes - Museum of the Swiss Abroad, Switzerland).