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A cosmonautics museum hidden in a wooden church in Ukraine

Step inside the unorthodox Museum of Space Exploration with the help of the photographs of Niels Ackermann.

If you know your way around space exploration, you are probably familiar with the Memorial of Cosmonautics in Moscow. And if you happen to be a Die Hard fan, you most likely have toured the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The space-themed attraction located in Ukraine is less famous, but extremely cool: the Museum of Space Exploration situated 80 kilometers from Kiev is located at Pereiaslav’s ethnographic park. 

This small collection hides several rare objects including one of Gagarin’s red training parachutes, the space suits of various cosmonauts, and a real-scale model of a space capsule. This in itself would not make it unique, given the fact it’s a cosmonautics museum, however, the building in which it is situated is truly extraordinary. 

The museum was opened in 1979, and the building gave home to a temporary exhibition from Moscow. “Mikhaylo Sikorsky, a famous academician, was from Pereiaslav. As he and his colleagues looked for an empty space to store the exhibition, they decided on the church. Up until today there is a debate on whether they intended to save the building by turning it into a museum or if they wanted to desecrate it, as atheist Soviets used to do” – the photographer explains. 

Although the fate of the museum remains to be uncertain, and the idea of restoring it to a church emerged several times, for now, it looks like it will remain a museum.

Source: Calvert Journal

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