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Archives for 'Baikonur'

Some pictures of Energia-M

Here are some pictures of Energia-M took at baikonur in 1991.

Those pictures are from a private collection.

Energia-M Energia-M Energia-M

Energia-M Energia-M

Other pictures here.

I haven’t danced for a long time

Couverture Hugo Boris

It’s with great pleasure that I present you a special book (special because the thematic is rare). This book speaks about a theme that passionate a lot of us, human spaceflights, and especially the flight of a Russian Cosmonaut on-board the MIR space station.

Hugo Boris came at Baikonur for his researches and this is where I meet him (my trip to Baikonur).

But instead of paraphrasing him I going to let him talk:
Three years of work… The investigation allowed me to meet many cosmonauts. I went to the star city, at Moscow. But most of all at Baikonur, in Kazakhstan, where I attend a manned launch. This moment was soul-stirring, more than I can imagine. In fact, I can’t get over this trip, I think of it every day.

I haven’t danced for a long time (Je n’ai pas dansé depuis longtemps, in French) – Hugo Boris – ed. Belfond

Ivan was chosen to be the first man to stay more than four hundred days in Earth orbit.
An ordinary man, married, father of two children, leave the planet.
While the soviet empire collapse into chaos, he is revolving endlessly.
For him, the Sun rises and sets down sixteen times a day.
As time is passing by he is loosing sleep, smell, taste.
His vertebral column doesn’t bear him anymore.
His mind is wavering.
He has been practicing for many years, the mind entirely pointed toward space.
Now, he is only thinking of Earth. He misses Earth like a woman.

An interview (in French) of Hugo Boris on France 2 television, in the broadcasting « Dans quelle étagère… »:

YouTube Preview Image

An unexpected spectacle

Jean Loup Chretien Jean Loup Chretien

Jean-Loup Chrétien went to space on June 24, 1982. He then becomes the first occidental to flight in space (nor Sovietic, nor American) but also the first French cosmonaut. He stayed some days in space aboard the Salyut space station to proceed to experiences for the CNES agency.

In 1988, he had the chance to go again, also with the Soviets, but aboard the brand new MIR station for a joint mission, Aragatz, between France and USSR. The launch date was settled at November 26, 1988, but 11 days earlier another historical event took place.

Jean-Loup Chrétien and his Soyuz TM-7 partners,  Alexander Volkov and Sergei Krikalev, arrived at Baikonur weeks before the launch to finish their training on the cosmodrome. Early in the morning of November 15, they are waken up by the staff of the hotel, which said them that a launch is going to take place. So the small group, the crew, the backup crew and some members of the hotel went upstairs on the building’s roof and watch in the direction of the lunar launch pad enlightening the night. At that time the USSR was in a bad financial state and the Energia-Buran program was suffering financial cuttings, some people said that if the launch doesn’t take place this morning the shuttle will never be launch.

Then suddenly a big light appeared at the horizon. Spectacular and blinding, this light began to go up to the clouds base which it reached in few seconds, going from this incandescent dot to a magnificent light disc which slowly blow out as Buran was mounting in the clouds. Buran lifted off under an awful weather, during an inky night, and must came back to Baikonur just few hours later and succeed her first automatic landing. It’s was also her first flight, without crew onboard. We stayed  disbelieving, and watching during hours the evolution of the weather. It was clear that our russians colleagues had took lots of risks. We learned later that the chances of success were less than 50%. [...]

The local TV  broadcasted the rest of the events. Buran began her reentry in the atmosphere at the right time, and we were watching with anxiety the picture shoot by the television camera orientated to the base of the clouds in the landing strip axis. The ceiling was low, it continued to snow, and a strong crosswind was blowing. Suddenly Buran escaped from the clouds, some 20 to 30 seconds before landing. We were holding our breast and watching this majestic vehicle beginning its circle before touching down. The landing was magnificent, and Buran stopped majestically in a tremendous applause. Ignoring the risks by getting close too quickly, a group of engineers and technicians ran toward this hero to acclaim it with enthusiasm. Vodka was flowing, even knowing that despite her success it should be her last flight.

Extract from the book: Rêves d’étoiles (Dreams of stars), Jean-Loup Chrétien.

Visit of François Mitterrand, for the launch of JL. Chrétien, in the hangar 112.

President Mitterrand Baikonur

Presidential Concorde on the Ybileiniy airport (Buran’s landing strip).

Concorde Baikonur

Pictures of the OK-M shuttle during renovation

Here are some pictures of the renovation of the OK-M shuttle at the Baikonur’s museum. Those pictures were taken during the begining of 2007.



Small visit of the Baikonur’s museum

Here is the pictures I took of the Baikonur’s museum. This museum is really impressive and should be more known.
For the visit it’s here.

Baikonur Computer Buran OK-M

Reporting about the Buran-Energia program

Here is a presentation reporting about the Buran-Energia program and the OK-GLI test shuttle, which was broadcasted on russia television (Rossia chanel).

Buran Space Shuttle Program

Another reportings here.

Small slideshows

I done something I wanted to do for a long time that is displaying more pictures in the journey pages. But I didn’t want the text to be lost into too many pictures.

So I choose to put a slideshow of additional pictures. For now I only did the Baikonur journey, but the one at Cap canaveral will arrive soon.

Update of February 26:
I just published the others slideshows about the journey to Cap canaveral.

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Pictures of the 1.01 Buran space shuttle destroyed

Here is some pictures of the destroyed 1.01 Buran space shuttle (the only model which flown) and the Energia launcher. After its historical flight the shuttle was parked in the 112 hangar piggy backed of an Energia launcher. Unfortunatly in 2001 the roof collapsed during its renovation, destroying the shuttle and the launcher and killing 7 workers.

Those pictures were taken in the begining of the year 2008.

Destruction of Buran-Energia Destruction of Buran-Energia