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Tiny museum with big names gets back to Earth after half-year tour on ISS

A space museum of micro-miniatures wrapped up its half-a-year tour on board the International Space Station before getting back home last week

NOVOSIBIRSK, December 24. /TASS/. A space museum of micro-miniatures designed by a craftsman from Siberia’s Novosibirsk city, Vladimir Aniskin, wrapped up its half-a-year tour on board the International Space Station before getting back home last week.

"At last my dream has come true - the space museum visited the ISS. It was the first museum outside the Earth," Aniskin said. "The space museum arrived on board the ISS on March 23, 2018, spending 196 days there," the craftsman told TASS on Monday.

The museum fits in the palm of your hand and is a piece of charoite, on which exhibits and a magnifying glass are installed. It consists of ten exhibits, among them Yuri Gagarin’s portrait made of gold made on a poppy seed, a watercolor portrait of rocket engineer Sergey Korolyov, pictures of Soviet space dogs Belka and Strelka made on an apple kernel, the Buran spacecraft on a wheat grain, astronauts’ autograph notes on rice grains, a satellite and a spacecraft on a strand of hair, a miniature post card with a formula by Soviet rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, and an icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.

"The museum weighs 234 grams, including the magnifier, which had to be dismantled due to being overweight. They used a hand glass on board the ISS," Aniskin said.

He designed the micro-museum back in May 2014 and had repeatedly tried to send it to space. Cosmonaut Alexander Lazutkin helped him promote the project, asking his fellow cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev to get it on board the ISS. Artemyev returned back on Earth in October, and last week met with the craftsman to hand over the tiny museum. It will be shortly exhibited in Novosibirsk and then will move on to the Russian Lefty Museum in St. Petersburg. The museum was named in honor of ‘the cross-eyed lefty from Tula’, the main character of a folk tale by Nikolai Leskov, a craftsman from Tula who outdid English craftsmen by shoeing a steel flea they had made.

The Russian craftsman has been making micro-miniatures since 1998. His collection includes unique exhibits and classical works, such as the ‘shod flea’ and ‘a camelcade in a needle hole’. He also created the world’s smallest book, 67 times tinier than the one in the Russian Guinness Book of Records and 88 times smaller than the book entered into the Guinness Book of Records.

Aniskin is an engineer, designing and making micro-sensors for aerodynamic research and other domains of science.