The museum was founded in 1987, in honour of the centennial of Friedrich Zander (in Latvian: Canders), a pioneer of rocketry (1887-1933). The exhibition is now displayed in the building of his Alma Mater at Raiņa Boulevard 19, where the prospective engineer was a student at Riga Polytechnic Institute, Faculty of Mechanics (1907-1914). The Astronomical Tower of the University of Latvia is also open for visitors.
The University of Latvia Friedrich Zander’s Museum of Space Exploration offers for viewing:
- The largest collection of meteorites in the Baltics. Old astronomical instruments, ancient star maps and old astronomy books.
- The exhibition “40 Years of Astronautics” with a detailed account on outer space conquest during last century and the latest achievements in space exploration.
- The exposition devoted to Friedrich Zander, the father of the space rocket, a native of Rīga. It was in Rīga that he conceived the idea of space flights and launched on his independent scientific research.
- When on top of the Astronomical Tower, one can look into one of Latvia’s two largest telescopes. In daytime, the visitors can observe the Sun, or, when it is cloudy, the sights of Rīga.