Cosmonauts Training Center created in USSR

11 January 1960

Development of science and technology in our country allowed at the end of 1950 seriously consider the issue of human flight into space. In January and May 1959 were issued the decrees of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and USSR Council of Ministers "On the preparation of man for space flight." To successfully address the issue of human space flight, S. P. Korolev believed it necessary to establish a Center for cosmonauts training. By the end of 1959 it was decided to set up a special center in the Air Force to prepare a man for space flight.

January 11, 1960 Air Force Commander Air Marshal K. A. Vershinin signed the directive “On the formation of personnel for Cosmonauts Training Center "and approved the organizational and staff structure of the Cosmonauts Training Center of the Air Force.

In March 1960, the first twenty future astronauts arrived to the Center from among military pilots, and a year later took place the world's first manned space flight. In 1968 the Center was named after Yuri Gagarin, the first cosmonaut on Earth.

Designed initially for training of astronauts, already in 1969 the Center also started research and testing activities.

In 1995, in order to enhance efficiency of scientific and technological potential of the Russian Federation in the sphere of manned spaceflight and cosmonauts training, on the basis of the Cosmonauts Training Centre and a test training aviation regiment was established the Yu. A. Gagarin State Scientific Research-and-Testing Cosmonaut Training Center.

The functions of the Center is the selection and training of cosmonauts (astronauts) of all specialties for flights on manned space vehicles of all types and purposes; holding in outer space testing, research, experiments and other work. Training is carried out in accordance with military, civilian and international programs. Russian and foreign cosmonauts undergo in the Center training for flights at the International Space Station.

The center has all the equipment necessary for preflight training: a centrifuge to simulate overload of the crew at the start, a huge water basin to simulate the weightlessness, the aircraft to simulate a "soaring" of astronauts inside the station and built life-size mockups of stations “Salyut”, “Mir", “MKS” and of the spaceship "Buran".


Lit.: Музей Российского государственного Научно-исследовательского испытательного Центра подготовки космонавтов им. Ю. А. Гагарина [Электронный ресурс] // Музеи России. 1996-2020. URL:; Центр подготовки космонавтов имени Ю. А. Гагарина. Б. д. URL:


Based on the Presidential Library’s materials:

Open Space: collection.