Space Research Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences



Space Research Institute (acronym IKI) was established as the leading institute for outer space exploration for the benefit of fundamental sciences within the USSR Academy of Sciences. IKI was founded under the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of May 15, 1965 No. 392-147 and in accordance with two Resolutions of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR: 1965 No. 403-006 of July 9 and No. 588-014 of August 5, 1966. The former document is archived (AP RF. F.93. Collection of resolutions and orders of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for 1965. Certified copy on letterhead) and published in the book “The Soviet Space Initiative in State Documents. 1946–1964”, ed. by Yu. M. Baturin (Moscow: RTSoft Publishing House, 2008).


Space Research Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences was established in 1965, but until 1967 it was named the “Institute (or Organization) PO Box 2286” in the documents.







IKI had almost no part in the ASTP program, which ended with legendary docking of Soyuz and Apollo spacecraft on July 15, 1975. But for reasons of secrecy, many Soviet engineers and other people, who really worked in the program, were hired by IKI or introduced themselves as IKI employees, so that they did not name their real affiliations. 

IKI hosted the meetings of the working groups on the Soyuz-Apollo program. A control docking of Soviet and American units was also performed at IKI facilities. 

During the flight itself, IKI’s staff ran one experiment dedicated to observations of solar corona from one of the spacecraft, while the the second one was eclipsing the Sun.






The main building of IKI is located at the intersection of Profsoyuznaya and Obrucheva streets, which is officially Academician Keldysh Square. In 2019, the Russian Academy of Sciences made a proposal to build a monument on the square in honor of M. V. Keldysh and his closest associates — academicians S. P. Korolev and I. V. Kurchatov, the legendary “three ‘Ks’” of the Soviet rocket and space industry.

And even more

In Russian

Based on materials from Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS, TsNIIMash JSC, NASA, келдыш.рф, pastvu website, and archive of Pravda newspaper. 

Special thanks to Oleg L. Vaisberg and Igor A. Lisov for their kind help with the facts and illustrations.

The “first edition” of this page was published in 2020 on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of IKI and used Tilda web designer.