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Archives for 'Baikonur'

Story of our journey to Baikonur

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

Early April took place the launch of the Soyuz TMA-12 to the ISS with the first south Korean on-board (Yi So-Yeon). I had the chance to see the launch and visit the buildings and installations of the Baikonur’s cosmodrome (as well as the Stars City).

Here is the story.

Reparation of the MIK 112′s roof

Since November 2006 the Baikonur’s authorities have decided to repair the MIK 112′s roof.

This building was built during the 60′s to shelter the production line of the new soviet lunar launcher the N1. At the late 70′s and during the 80′s it was reused for the Energia launcher and Buran (final integration tests).

After the successful launch of Buran on november 15, 1988 this last was set on another Energia launcher and stored in this building.

But due to the close of the Buran-Energia project and the collapse of the USSR, there was lack of money and the building turned sour. During the roof fix in 2002 it collapsed, destroying Buran 1.01 (the model which flew), an Energia launcher, and 7 of the workers which worked there.

See also: Pictures of the MIK 112.

Air picture of the collapsed roof:


Air picture of the reparation:


Update: Baikonur is in an arid land, it rains only few days a year (this one of the reasons the soviet authorities chose this place for the cosmodrome). But there is a continental climat, very hot in the summer (up to 40°C) and very cold in the winter. That’s why this building was thermally isolated but not protected against the rain. The material used to isolate was a kind of foam which soak up water. This year it rained a lot, the roof was soaked up of water and when workers came to fix it it collapsed because of its weight.

More pictures

Here is a new set of pictures.

The first set is about Buran and Mriya.

  • 030_Transport_Carriage_buran_an_225_1_min.jpgMriya during a flight test with Buran.
  • 030_Transport_Carriage_grach82_min.jpgLoading/unloading of Buran at the Baikonur airport
  • 095_Le_Bourget_1989_Le_Bourget_1989_ru_aircraft_an225_05_min.jpgBuran and Mriya at Le Bourget 1989
  • 095_Le_Bourget_1989_Le_Bourget_1989_ru_aircraft_an225buran_50_min.jpgLift off of the mriya at the end of the Bourget airshow (1989)

The next pictures were taken during the assembly of the Mriya:

005_Construction_Assembly_Mriya_050_min.jpg005_Construction_Assembly_Mriya_051_min.jpg 005_Construction_Assembly_Mriya_052_min.jpg

The last set of pictures is about the VM-T Atlant transportation plane, we can see it carrying the Buran’s fuselage and the oxygen tank of Energia (MAKC):


Pictures of the MIK in 2006

Here is some pictures of the MIK building taken in 2006, we can see that since the collapse of the roof in 2002 no cleanup has been made, only a part of the roof was reinforced. We can clearly see the below of the Я block on the last picture.


Renovation of OK-M

After the movement of OK-M near the Baikonur’s museum, the thermal shield was renewed, they transformed the cockpit and a showroom was set up in the payload bay. Initially the cockpit was not functional because this model was intended has thermal tests, so this version of the cockpit was created from scratch.

1223c160bdb9_min.jpg c2790c1c847f_min.jpg

Launch pads in 2006

Here is some pictures of the launch pad 110 and 250 shot in 2006. To remind you, the 110 area was used to launch Buran in November 15, 1988, whereas the 250 area was used to launch Polyus in May 17, 1987.

Those 2 areas haven’t been used since then and are in a bad shape now.

Area 110:


Area 250:



The test shuttle OK-M was moved few days ago from the area 254, to be parked near the Baikonur’s museum (area 2). May be it will be restaured or stocked in better conditions.

Area 254:


Area 2:


Update of March 2:

Numerous projects were studied to use this mock-up and emphasize the heritage which it represents, but all failed because they required too important investments. In the second half of January the authorities, under the management of the first assistant Tomchuka V. R. of ФКЦ of Baikonur, finally decided to move the mock-up towards the Bailonur’s museum because it is the cheapest solution. The outside of the shuttle will be restored, a cabin with cosmonauts’ seats will be installed there and a showroom will be fitted out in the payload bay. It is a second life for this shuttle which takes place at the time of the twentieth anniversary of the Energia’s first launch (in May 17th, 1987).


Transport Transport

Update of March 22:

Renovation work:

Buran works

Various pictures

Here is some unsorted pictures of the Baikonur’s facility, production machines, Buran’s test chamber (oven to test the Buran’s heat chield), and a Buran’s period scheme.

Gas tank Gas tank 006487_energia_buran_15.jpg 006487_energia_buran_08.jpg Machine 006487_energia_buran_02.jpg 006487_energia_buran_14.jpg tpvk-chambre-chaud.jpg 006487_energia_buran_10.jpg