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Baikonur Tour 2008

Logo Baikonour Tour 2008 Soyuz TMA-12Soyuz TMA-12

A small group of aerospatial impassioned, and me, went in April 2008 in Baikonur to visit the installations and to see the launch of a Soyuz rocket with the vessel Soyuz TMA-12. Here the story of our journey:

In February 2007 we decided Satori and me to organise a journey to Baikonur to visit the installations and to see the takeoff of a Soyuz rocket. Satori having already accomplished this voyage in April 2006 we direct ourselves to the agency with which it had left (RusAdventures), moreover the posted price is in dollars (which does not cease falling). But, after some mails exchanges it seems that the announced price is for a group of 30 people! How do they really think to brought together 30 people by the same agency? We do not know yet who will come but with us but it will not be 30, we will have to surely pay more (the final price was 4 980$ which is 3 700€).

Meanwhile we searched for other agencies able to provide the same service, we found a French agency (GNGL), but the price was prohibitory 1 700€ more.

Thus we decided to go with the Russian agency (RusAdventures) and start to make publicity on various forums. An American forum NASASpaceflight and the principal French aerospatial forum forum-conquest-spatiale.fr.

Some people seem interested, but there are also some desistances. At final, we are 4 people. It’s really low in comparison to our waitings, but it’s understandable in comparison with the price of the voyage.

Then, a few months before leaving a reversal situation occured, the French agency GNGL lowers its price of 1500€ and proposes more visits in Moscow (3 300€). After a small time of reflexion and another series of mails exchange with the agency (to understand why) we choose this one, which has the avantage to be in Paris (it’s simpler for me).

Here is the planning communicated by the travel agency:

03/04/08
Arrived to Moscow and transfer to the Cosmos hotel, dinner at the hotel.

04/04/08
Excursion at the cosmonautic corporation “Energia” and TsUP. Transfer to the star city. After the lunch, museum astronautics visits and preparation centers of the cosmonauts Iouri Gagarine. Transfer to the hotel.

05/04/08
Early in the morning transfer to the Tchkalovsky airport. Flight to Baïkonour. Arrival at “Krainiy” airport. Customs, control of passports. Transfer to the hotel, installation. Spare time. Dinner.

06/04/08
Breakfast. Spare time. Transfer on zone 112.
Observation of the transfer of rocket TMA-12 to the launch pad.
Visit of Garainsky and houses museums of Korolev and Iouri as well as museum Zone 2.
Lunch at the hotel.
Visit the Energia-Buran launch pad.
Dinner at the hotel.
Spare time. Rest.

07/04/08
Visit town of Baikonor. Assistance to the press conference of the Soyuz crew and the state commission.
Lunch at the hotel.
Observation of the assembly building of the Soyuz vessels, Progress and launching pas of Proton Proton.
Dinner at the hotel.

08/04/08
Observation of the departure of the cosmonauts at the hotel « Cosmonaft ».
Breakfast. Transfer on platform 254
Observation of the crew report/ratio to the president of the state commission.
Observation of the launch.
Transfer on platform 254. Cocktail.
Lunch at the hotel.
Preparation for Moscow departure.
Transfer at the “Krainiy” airport. Customs, control of passport. Loading.
Flight Baikonur-Moscow
Landing at Vnukovo. Transfer to the Cosmos hotel. Dinner at the hotel.

09/04/08
Free morning, possibility of visiting the museum of Cosmonautique (in option). After lunching visit of the house of Korolev. Dinner.

10/04/08
Transfer to the airport.

This program is very attractive. The order will not be really respected, but we will visit all the mentioned points (except the Proton launch pad).

Next…

Comments

Comment from deck
Time: 2008-06-11, 1.23

Merci pour votre récit du « Baikonur Tour 2008″.

Bravo !

Comment from Baikonur traveler
Time: 2009-07-28, 10.22

see also http://www.bestrussiantour.com/space/tour_baikonur

Comment from sergei
Time: 2009-07-29, 7.15

minh triet

Comment from Dan Armstrong
Time: 2009-08-18, 6.39

Hi there,

Thought you might be interested, I was the first « tourist » to go to Baikonur with RusAdventures, in 2005. Saw TMA-7 launch. If you are intrested, I have a page on that trip too —>

http://htdocs.com/essays/baikonur/index.html

Cheers, Dan

Comment from Vassili Petrovitch
Time: 2009-08-25, 10.03

Yes, I already saw your page about your trip.
The problem is that now their price is way too high.

Comment from Dan Armstrong
Time: 2009-08-25, 10.12

yea, definitely. $4600 or so now! but did you see SpaceAdventures prices?! they are charging $16500 for (basically) the same trip! : (
http://www.spaceadventures.com/uploads/file/Space%20Adventures_LaunchTour_Sep09_Laliberte.pdf

Comment from Vasiliy
Time: 2010-01-21, 1.51

if you are based in the UK, the guys from Go Russia are also offering observation trisp to Baikonur, I believe the next launch in 2010 will be at the beginning of april
http://www.skyandspacetravel.com/baikonur_cosmodrome_tours.html

Comment from Suchmaschine
Time: 2010-10-27, 5.03

Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

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