D.C. to Moscow: Space Exploration

D.C. to Moscow: Space Exploration

A Smithsonian University Travel Program

Planet Earth is an enormous place, but it boggles the mind to consider just how small it is as part of a vast and largely unexplored universe. Our ventures in space travel are among mankind’s greatest achievements. Each visit produces treasure troves of scientific discovery, as well as inspiration for those of us here on Earth. Explore the history of space exploration in two nations that have led the way, thanks to a collaborative itinerary that is part of the Smithsonian University Travel Programs collection. Created by a team of experts from WorldStrides and Smithsonian, this is your ticket to a world beyond.


  • First human to travel to space
    Yuri Gagarin
  • Number of Apollo missions
    11 crewed missions
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8 Days
Destinations Visited
Washington, D.C.Greenbelt, Maryland (Goddard)Moscow
Local Conditions
61℉ Current Temp
Current Time

Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1 Arrive in Washington, D.C.
  • Arrive in D.C. Fly to the nation's capital.
  • Special Access: Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center Enjoy a private tour of the enormous collection at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center, including space shuttle Discovery. Meet with a staff member for a discussion on conservation of space artifacts and how space suits are developed.
  • Welcome Dinner
Day 2 Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum
  • Special Access: National Air and Space Museum Enjoy a private tour revealing secrets of the museum, along with a special Observatory visit featuring an overview of solar missions. You'll also have the opportunity to view the sun through a filtered telescope.
  • Expert Access: Space History Department Learn from an expert about the history of space programs.
  • Special Access: Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS) CEPS performs original research and outreach activities on topics covering planetary science, terrestrial geophysics, and the remote sensing of environmental change. Go behind the scenes and learn about the work of this research arm of the Smithsonian.
Day 3 NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Goddard and the Hyperwall After an introduction to Goddard, learn about the various types of research taking place at the Hyperwall.
  • Expert Access: NASA Meeting Meet with a NASA staff member to learn about the future of human space exploration. Learn about the various projects and partnerships NASA is engaged in to continue extending humans' reach. Engage in a discussion about the operational/political considerations influencing the U.S. role in current and future missions.
  • Special Access: Spacecraft Test Facility Receive an in-depth tour of unique spacecraft test and integration facilities, labs and operations areas.
Day 4 Off to Moscow!
  • Expert Access: Goddard: Part 2 Before you depart for Russia, return to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to meet with scientists in the Robotics and Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office. Visit the Space Weather Division, view their research, and interact with their team as they provide real time information to scientists around the world.
  • Depart for Moscow Fly overnight to Russia.
Day 5 Moscow City Tour
  • Sparrow Hills One of the highest points in Moscow, this spot offers a great view from the right bank of the Moskva River.
  • Novodevichy Convent This monastery was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004 because of its architecture, known as Moscow Baroque, and its long history closely related to Russian Orthodoxy.
  • Christ the Savior Cathedral This is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world, rebuilt after it was destroyed during the rule of Joseph Stalin in 1931.
  • Red Square See the famous Russian plaza that is the hub of Moscow's major streets. View the Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral, and other key sites that line the square.
  • St. Basil's Cathedral This iconic cathedral in Red Square is a state-owned site, well-known for its unique and colorful architecture.
  • Kremlin Visit (from a distance, of course!) the fortified complex that serves as the residence for the president of the Russian Federation.
  • Armory Explore the immense collection of Russian memorabilia in this Kremlin-style museum.
Day 6 Star City
  • Russian Space Museum Study the history of Russian spaceflight.
  • Spotlight: Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center Travel to Russia’s space training facility and take a facility tour. Learn about the history of the Russian space program, collaborative international efforts, and the future of manned flight. View the Mir Space Station Simulator, the Hydro-lab for zero-G training and the largest centrifuge in the world.
Day 7 Attention, Mission Control
  • Free morning Explore Moscow in small groups or as individuals.
  • Spotlight: Space Mission Control Center Take a unique tour of the Russian Mission Control Center, equivalent of the American Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, which operates civil satellites, spacecraft, and stations, including Soyuz-Apollo spacecraft, Buran space shuttle, Soyuz spacecraft, Progress space ships, Mir Space Station, and ISS.
Day 8 Depart Moscow
  • Fly Home