Yuri Gagarin’s Capsule
The steel globe amidst the rye field symbolizes the Vostok-1 spacecraft capsule at the moment of Yuri Gagarin’s return to Earth and is the starting point of the permanent exposition located in the passenger terminal.
An aerodynamic stele is a spectacular high art installation. It’s surface consists of small polished metal plates, so that air flows turn the facade into the kinetic sculpture. The surface glitters, resembling the movement of clouds or small ripples on water. This makes one think of the primary elements: earth, water, and air.
A series of animated videos in the retro-futuristic style is demonstrated on a 35-meter LED screen above the check-in counters. They are focused on the connection between the human and the space. Balanced geometric forms show distances between celestial objects , cosmonaut’s movement in the zero-gravity environment and relay space harmony.
Foton is a modern spacecraft, identical to the Vostok-1 capsule, in which Yuri Gagarin landed in the Saratov Region in 1961. The capsule is displayed on the second floor of the terminal. The item that has actually been in space is now surrounded by a structure made of unique cast glass and titanium. Electronic counters are built into the stand, making the real-time display of dynamics of space exploration by mankind – the exploration that started on the day of Gagarin’s flight.
The exposition starts with the topic of lifting off from Earth in projects of Russian avant-garde artists and the ideas of cosmists. Using multimedia, the display demonstrates that the development of technology was preceded by the humanitarian thought and the idea of a man capable of flying to space. It is dedicated to the history of relations between science, arts and philosophy, with regard to the ideas of separating from Earth, overcoming gravity laws and eventually exploring the space. The flight of Yuri Gagarin had an effect on all further processes in science and culture. The second part of the display is dedicated to the inhabited space, modern space flights and related artistic ideas.
An interactive photo area, where everyone can “try on” the figure of a cosmonaut floating in the outer space, which can be seen on the monitor just like in a mirror. The image is inspired by the first space walk of Alexei Leonov as the implementation of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s theories. Thanks to AR and Facetracking technologies, one can be carried away to the other side of the display and make a space walk of their own. A camera built into the installation allows the visitors to save their images from the space walk in their smartphones.
Boarding bridges from the terminal to the aircraft are completed with arches with traveling lines installed in them, graphic elements and sound design. While boarding, passengers listen to the recordings of the conversation between Yuri Gagarin and Sergei Korolev they had prior to Gagarin’s space flight. Traveling lines display compulsory requirements of cosmonaut preparation for the flight. The countdown refers to the bodily experience of the space journey.
Passengers arriving at the Gagarin Airport are welcomed by a wall-size show window which depicts the development of the space industry and the role of the Saratov region in its history. The display presents documentary shots, eye-catching graphics and windows with objects similar to those one can find in a museum: models of a centrifuge, a spacesuit, etc.