The Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics (Russian: Государственный музей истории космонавтики имени К.Э.Циолковского) is the first museum in the world dedicated to the history of space exploration. It was opened on 3 October 1967 in Kaluga, and is named after Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a school master and rocket science pioneer who lived most of his life in this city. The driving force behind the creation of the museum was Sergei Korolyov, chief designer of RKK Energiya. The building was designed by Boris Barkhin, Evgeny Kireev, Nataliya Orlova, Valentin Strogy and Kirill Fomin, and the cornerstone was laid by Yuri Gagarin on 13 June 1961. The museum has over 100,000 visitors per year and has 127 employees, of whom 43 are curators.
The exposition of the museum consists of two parts. The first part is dedicated to the ideas and research of Tsiolkovsky, and shows a model of the rocket designed by Tsiolkovsky as well as copies of his scientific work. The second part contains mock-ups of space craft like Sputnik 1 and samples of moon dust. Just outside the museum is a rocket park, which contains amongst others a R-7 rocket.
In the outskirts of Kaluga is the wooden house in which Tsiolkovsky lived. In 1936, one year after his death, this house was turned into a memorial house museum and is now part of the museum organization.
The museum also incorporates a scientific effort to study the life and works of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. The Annual Tsiolkovsky Readings and Conference is organized by the museum.
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