Star City (russian: Звёздный городо́к, ''Zvyozdny gorodok''The name "Zvyozdny gorodok" literally means "starry townlet".) is a common name of an area in Zvyozdny gorodok,
Moscow Oblast Moscow Oblast ( rus, Моско́вская о́бласть, r=Moskovskaya oblast', p=mɐˈskofskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ), or Podmoskovye ( rus, Подмоско́вье, p=pədmɐˈskovʲjə, literally "wiktionary:под-, under Moscow"), is a fe ...

Moscow Oblast
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

, which has since the 1960s been home to the
Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center The Yuri A. Gagarin State Scientific Research-and-Testing Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC; Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, p ...
(GCTC). Officially, the area was known as " closed military townlet No. 1" and at various times had also been designated as Shchyolkovo-14 () and Zvyozdny ().


Cosmonaut An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is a person trained, equipped, and deployed by a human spaceflight program to serve as a commander or crew member aboard a sp ...
s of the
Russian Federal Space Agency The State Space Corporation "Roscosmos" (russian: Государственная корпорация по космической деятельности «Роскосмос»), commonly known simply as Roscosmos (russian: Роскосмос) ...
, and the
Soviet space program The Soviet space program (russian: Космическая программа СССР, Kosmicheskaya programma SSSR) was the national space program of the Soviet Union, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), conducted in competition with ...
before it, have lived and trained in Star City since the 1960s. In the
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sove ...
era the location was a highly secret and guarded military installation, access to which was severely restricted. Many Russian cosmonauts, past and present, and Training Centre's personnel, live in Star City with their families. The facility has its own post office,
high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a ...

high school
, shops, child day care/
kindergarten Kindergarten (, ) is a preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an school, educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin com ...

movie theater A movie theater (American English), cinema (British English), or cinema hall (Indian English), also known as a picture house, the pictures, picture theater, the silver screen, or the movies, is a building that contains auditoria for viewing ...

movie theater
, sports and recreation facilities,
railway station Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor veh ...

railway station
, and a
museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is a building or institution that cares for and displays a collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an accounts receivable department * Collec ...

of space travel and human exploration. Air transportation is available through nearby
Chkalovsky Airport Chkalovsky is a military air base An air base (sometimes referred to as a military air base, military airfield, military airport, air station, naval air station, air force station, or air force base) is an aerodrome used as a military bas ...
. In the summer 1992, American "Youth Science Ambassadors" sponsored by
People to People InternationalPeople to People International (PTPI) is a program established on September 11, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as part of the United States Information Agency. After President Eisenhower left the President of the United States, office of Pr ...
were hosted at Star City where they were treated to a presentation by cosmonaut
Anatoly Artsebarsky Anatoly Pavlovich Artsebarsky ( uk, Анатолій Павлович Арцебарський) (russian: Анатолий Павлович Арцебарский; born 9 September 1956) is a former Soviet Union, Soviet cosmonaut. He became a cosm ...
. In the mid- to late 1990s, groups of select students from high school in Star City participated in the Russian American Cultural Exchange Program (RACE). Students first hosted, then visited, American counterparts attending five high schools in the
United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States of America
. There is a statue of the "space dog"
Laika Laika (russian: Лайка; c. 1954 – 3 November 1957) was a Soviet space dog During the 1950s and 1960s the Soviet space program used dogs for sub-orbital and Orbital spaceflight, orbital space flights to determine whether human spac ...

, the first animal to orbit the Earth, in Star City.


Transportation needs are met by the no. 380 bus route and taxis that stop near the border checkpoints, and by a railway station located at a short walking distance.


For most of its history, the space training center was in jurisdiction of the Soviet and then Russian military. However, in August 1996, due to the changes in legislation the center became subordinated both to the
Ministry of DefenseMinistry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defenceMinistry of Defence or Ministry of Defense may refer to: * Ministry of defence, a type of government department responsible for matters of defence Current ministries ...
and to the Roscosmos (
Russian Federal Space Agency The State Space Corporation "Roscosmos" (russian: Государственная корпорация по космической деятельности «Роскосмос»), commonly known simply as Roscosmos (russian: Роскосмос) ...
).Official website of Zvyozdny Gorodok Urban Okrug
Historical reference
This double status remained in effect until October 1, 2008, when the center was re-organized and subordinated directly and solely to the Roscosmos. As a result, the status of the territory of Star City was changed from military to civil, and the territory itself was incorporated as a
closed administrative-territorial formation A closed city or closed town is a settlement where travel or residency restrictions are applied so that specific authorization is required to visit or remain overnight. Such places may be sensitive military establishments or secret research inst ...
of Zvyozdny gorodok. Within the closed formation, the territory was organized on June 16, 2009 as an inhabited locality with the status of a work settlement. A proposal to officially name the work settlement as Zvyozdny gorodok was submitted to the federal government on October 29, 2009, but as of 2011 has not yet been officially approved.

NASA in Star City

The "Prophylactory" (aka the "Prophy"), was a three-floor dormitory built by the Russians to house Americans during the Apollo-Soyuz Project. NASA leased the second floor for team housing and for the office of the Director of Operations, Russia. NASA also built several duplexes for housing, during the Shuttle-Mir program. NASA flight surgeon Michael Barratt stated during an oral history interview in 1998, "Star City has always been kind of felt as the forbidden city or the hidden city. It wasn't on any maps, certainly, by then. It was a secret cosmonaut training base. Of course, everyone knew where it was, but it was considered a closed and secure city".Oral History Michael Barratt

Notable residents

*Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin *Valentina "Valya" Ivanovna Goryacheva


Further reading


External links

Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Centre (GCTC)Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Centre (GCTC)
{{in lang, ru *BBC News
Inside Russia's space camp
*BBC News
In pictures: Russian space school
Human spaceflight Soviet and Russian space program locations