Direction-Space, By Maria Gruzdeva

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The Independent Culture

Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary, on 12 April, of Yuri Gagarin's historic 1961 mission out of this world, Direction-Space! is an evocative photographic study of the Soviet space programme, focusing on two sites: the vast, top-secret research and training centre officially called "Closed military townlet No 1" but better known as Star City; and Baikonur, now in Kazakhstan – the world's first and largest launch facility.

The London-based Russian photographer Maria Gruzdeva was given unique access, and writes about the cosmonaut community: "Once you have entered this world, you understand that ... its ideals are pure." Shown left: A mosaic in Baikonur.