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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.

Back from Baikonur

I’m back ! After 11 days of holidays to see at the launch of the Soyuz TMA-12 at Baikonur I’m back home. Unfortunatly I losed a major event, the carriage of the Buran OK-GLI to the SPEYER museum.

I will try to make up by posting a summary in pictures.

And by making a little travel diary of my journey at Baikonur.

Death of Menitsky Valery

Menitsky_Valery.jpgMenitsky Valery, passed away on Wednesday 16, January 2008 at Moscow.

Valery Menitsky was born on February 8, 1944, in 1965 he was graduated from the Tambov Military Flight School, in 1969 he entered a school of test-pilots, and in 1975 – the Moscow Aviation Institute.

In 1969 he integrated the A.I.Mikojan design bureau as test pilot, in 1984-1995 he was chief-pilot of the design bureau.

He flied and tested MiG-27, MiG -25PD, MiG -29M, took part in the test programs of MiG-21,-23,-25,-27,-29,-31 aircraft, and EPOS (space plane combat).

Since some years he was chairman of the board of the Open Joint-Stock Company Atlant-Soyuz Airlines, Adviser to the Moscow mayor.

During his carrier he received lots of awards, test pilot of the USSR, Hero of Soviet Union (1982), Awarded with Big Gold medal of IAF (International aviation federation), the winner of the Lenin premium, the winner of the International premium « Pilot of the year ». Awarded with the state and government awards. The author of the book « My heavenly life ».

Update: Here is an interview about the SPIRAL project (in russian).

MAKS 2007


This summer I went to MAKS 2007, at the military base of Tchkalov in the Zhukovsky town, near Moscow (40 km). MAKS is an exhibition show which exists since 1992, this year it was from 21 to 26 of August.
Here is some pictures I took.

A copy of a BOR 4:

10_BOR_4_BOR4_MAKS2007_01_min.jpg 10_BOR_4_BOR4_MAKS2007_04_min.jpg 10_BOR_4_BOR4_MAKS2007_07_min.jpg 10_BOR_4_BOR4_MAKS2007_11_min.jpg

A BOR 2 which flew into space:

05_BOR_2_BOR2_MAKS2007_01.jpg 05_BOR_2_BOR2_MAKS2007_05.jpg 05_BOR_2_BOR2_MAKS2007_07.jpg 05_BOR_2_BOR2_MAKS2007_11.jpg

The Molniya stand, always empty, with a model kit of Buran and the MAKS shuttle:

SNC11780_min.jpg SNC11738_min.jpg

Other pictures:


SNC11689_min.jpg SNC11776_min.jpg

SNC11695_min.jpg SNC11696_min.jpg

Chinese exhibition: Space Shuttle 2007

The world’s largest nonpermanent aerospace exhibition will lift off at Tsim Sha Tsui in December.

« Space Shuttle 2007, » as the exhibition is called, will feature retired space shuttle Buran and other items on loan from the Russian space program and the United States’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

« The goals of the exhibition are twofold: to provide an educational experience for visitors, and to give local tourism a boost, » Hong Kong Space Shuttle 2007 project director Karen Loh Yuk-ying said yesterday.

The highlight is the space shuttle Buran, which has been exhibited in Sydney, Australia, and in Bahrain. It is the only space shuttle ever to have been publicly displayed.

Space Shuttle 2007 opens at the West Kowloon (Hong Kong) Reclamation Area on December 12.

Official website

Unmanned space plane launch in 2008

The US Air Force has announced that it is developing an unmanned reusable spaceplane, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. The first launch is in 2008 on an Atlas V rocket. The X-37B will be one-fourth the size of the Space Shuttle and serve as a testbed for technologies for future reusable spacecraft.

This is the first project to make an unmanned spacecraft since Buran.

Unmanned shuttle