How much do you know about Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space? This detailed profile sheds light on the cosmonaut's life and accomplishments, as well as her struggles.
The dog Laika, the first living being to orbit the Earth, lives on in our memories along with her lethal Sputnik 2 mission, on which she was an unwitting pioneer in the USSR's space program more than 57 years ago.
Almost 60 years ago, we took our first steps into the big, black nothingness of space. Or more specifically, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov had the honor of taking the very first space-dip. But this was a rush job—a means for the Soviet Union to shame the US and win the space race once and for all. Which they did! …
The brothers Achille and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia claim they recorded the voice of a Russian cosmonaut as her capsule burned in re-entry on November 1963. This short film contains that recording and dramatizes the events. No matter if it's true or not, the short film is terrifying.
What do the ISS astronauts do in their free time? Sometimes, they like to act out action movie scenes—and the part where a character falls to his death is much more fun in microgravity. That's when they aren't playing with their floating food or doing weightless backflips.
Think about it. Really. Think about what you are looking at right now. That's Oleg Artemyev and Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Skvortsov—photographed today by Reid Wiseman—just doing their job, floating between Earth and the nothingness at 4.8 miles per second. If that's not awesome, I don't know what is.
Once upon a time, Valentina Tereshkova was a textile factor worker who made a hobby of jumping off of stuff with parachutes. On June 16, 1963, she was the first woman to make it into space, piloting Vostok 6 through 48 orbits in 70.8 hours. Today is her birthday.
On April 8th, the New York City branch of Bonhams will be hosting a "Space History" auction, and Gizmodo has been given a preview of the some of the historically unique, space age artifacts that will be for sale. From full-body Soviet space suits to a control panel once used on the space station Mir, the range of…
Two Russian cosmonauts have just begun a seven-hour spacewalk to install equipment on the exterior of the International Space Station. Watch them, live — because no matter what you do, their work day is way cooler than yours.
The Olympic flame famously travels around the world, but this year an Olympic torch left Earth for a very special lap. This morning, Russian cosmonauts took the torch on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station.
While exciting in some ways—homecoming, yay!—the trip home from the International Space Station is a scary enough journey even when everything goes right. Now imagine doing it with no height sensors to tell you how far from the ground you are and when to brace for impact. That's exactly what happened earlier week.
Even before Laika set paw in Sputnik 2, Soviet researchers sent dogs into higher altitudes than any canine creature had traveled before. To help keep those dogs safe—and to test the equipment that would allow humans to eventually reach orbit—these scientists created high pressure suits, complete with helmets fitted to…
Space exploration requires technical expertise, careful planning, and test after test after test. But it can be hard to discount the role of luck in missions where so much can go wrong. In the US and Russian space programs, many rituals are attached to missions, perhaps to add a little good fortune to their science.
Laika might get the lion dog's share of the historical glory, but the Soviet Union sent dozens of intrepid canine explorers on orbital and suborbital missions. This poster by Jess Bradley honors those early cosmonauts as adorable, waggly dogs.
When cosmonauts and astronauts now return from a long-duration space mission on board the International Space Station, they are always coming home on a Soyuz capsule, landing in northern Kazakhstan. The Kazakh Steppe is known for its bitter winters (I just checked the local weather in Ayagoz, Kazakhstan and there is…
Sex in space: Out of this world! Allegedly, I mean, as it's never been conducted by astronauts (in space, at least) or, as we learned this weekend courtesy the completely stuffy Russian government, cosmonauts:
By 1971, people had been in space. They'd even flown around the earth! But there'd never been a real home for humans in orbit—they went up, and they came down. That changed 40 years ago today.
One of the most horrific and mysterious deaths in space is that of USSR cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, a close friend of Yuri Gagarin. Some historians say Komarov was sent to space in a craft that officials knew could never return.
The United States won the Space Race decisively when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969, but nobody ever really knew just how close the Soviet Union got to putting cosmonauts on the lunar surface. Now, forty years later, researcher Charles Vick says the Soviets really could have reached the Moon by the…