A guide to the New East
Soviet space dreams
Inner space
At home with the cosmonauts of Star City

Direction - Space! is a photographic study of the Russian space industry’s two most iconic sites, Star City and Baikonur, shot by London-based Russian photographer Maria Gruzdeva. Cosmonauts have lived and trained in Star City since the 1960s. In the Soviet era, it was a top secret location. Today it is still a military research centre and consists of a training facility and a residential area for the cosmonauts and their families as well as the military and civilian personnel serving the facility. Baikonur, situated in Kazakhstan, was the world’s first space launch facility and still remains the largest. Generation of cosmonauts have trained in these surroundings and because of the insularity of this world, conditions have stayed largely unchanged since the Sixties. Gruzdeva's series explores the reality of the isolated community at first hand, investigating the everyday lives and routines of people training to face unique challenges.


Want more stories delivered to your inbox? Sign up to our newsletter here:

More from Photography


Growing up beside Croatia’s glittering Adriatic Sea


A vertiginous ride in Chiatura’s Soviet-era cable cars

Capturing the revolution

6 photographers share their stories from Armenia’s vibrant street protests

Zofia Rydet

How one photographer produced an invaluable record of communist Poland

Wish you were here

Postcard views from strikingly empty resorts

Wild abandon

I took an indulgent road trip across Georgia and you should too