News about the site and the Buran-Energia project

Main menu :



Day 2, Friday, April 04

The journey starts. Appointment at 9 o’clock in the hall of the hotel with our interpreter who speaks French, Galiena. But our small organisation troubles continues. We were to meet Rui (zenite.nu) (arrived from Portugal early in the morning) but he still not yet there. His plane was late and we cannot wait because the day will be charged. We agree with the guide to go visiting the Energia museum, during this time the driver of our minibus will seek him at the airport.

We take the minibus direction the Korolev City (not far from Moscow) to go in the NPO Energia company to visit the Energia museum. This museum was restored and moved at NPO Energia in 2007, before it was in the house of Cosmos in the VDNKh park.

In front of the grid we wait for the guide of the museum, during this time the guards controls our identities and inform us that we cannot take pictures of the buildings (I just have the time to photograph the entry).

NPO Energia

This museum is quite simply splendid, there is a room dedicated to the rewards and gifts of company NPO Energia, a room dedicated to the work of Korolev and the last room (biggest) with models (full size) of the various Soviet probes, spaceships and even two modules of MIR.

Room of rewards Room of rewards

Room of rewards

YouTube Preview Image

Among the spaceships we can admire that of Gagarin, of Tereshkova … Unfortunately, our guide did not know large thing and was satisfied to recite her text, when we asked her questions about a specific apparatus of a probe she repeated us invariably that it was an antenna! It is true that we listened her with more or less attention because we were like children in front of gifts at the foot of the Christmas tree.

Gagarin s vessel

Once returned to the car-park we find Rui, the bus driver had taken him at the airport, but there is still troubles because he didn’t get his luggages.

Now, direction to the TsUP (Mission Control Center) it’s a building which is also located in the Korolev City in a small street.

Of course at the entrance they control once again our passports but there is a problem because our interpreter Galiena isn’t on the list, moreover Rui had left his passport at the hotel (like we did the day before) but fortunately its Portuguese ID works. After fifteen minutes of discussions everything goes fine Galiena and Rui can enter. At the other side of the revolving door awaits us our guide, the director’s assistante of the TsUP.

To our request she takes us along the cafeteria to have a small coffee (we are hungry it’s about midday), during the way she informs us that it is strictly forbidden to take pictures … of the corridors (we start to know the song). After our small collation we walk through a maze of corridors and stairs to finally arrive in the control room.

TsUP s rest room

It’s a large room which makes me think of a theatre with its upper balcony for VIPs and trench of computers at the bottom.

Control room Control screen

She explains us the operation of the room, explains us various informations on the screen and allows us to take photographs (but without flash). The advantage of this visit (and the following in general) is in the fact she is not a simple guide but she’s working in the center, in fact she knows the places very well and could answer very precisely to many of our questions. We could see on certain control screens the images of the control room of Toulouse, indeed the ATV (European cargo liner) had been in orbit for a few days and had successfully docked the day before.
YouTube Preview Image

Then, she takes us to the room next door to show us a video on the preceding flight, TMA-11, which was currently in the space station.

Conference room title=

The visit is finished, we take the minibus again, direction the Stars City.

After forty five minuntes of road in the Moscovite countryside we arrive at the border of a forest, we go through a gate with guards and here we are in the Stars City, mythical city. It is 15h30 we still haven’t eat and they drive us to an old shopping centre where somebody prepared us a meal. We hurry to eat to begin the visit of the Stars City.

CCommerial center

The visit begins with the training pool. Indeed, the water well reproduce the apesantor effect. The pool is a large cylinder of twenty three meters of diameter and twelve meters of depth in which are plunged full size models of the elements on which the cosmonautes will work during their EVA (extra-vehicular activity).

Training pool Training pool

The guy which was guiding us was a technician specialist of the Orlan suits and spoke about his work with passion.

All the cosmonauts must practice in the swimming pool even if they will not have EVA programmed, moreover it’s so much physical that they cannot make more than one practice a week (they lose four liters of water per session).

The next building we visit is the centrifugal machine TsF-18. It’s a long arm of 18m which turns around a vertical axis to simulate an acceleration. Even if the cabin describes a circular trajectory, the cosmonaut has the impression that the cabin goes forward. Moreover, it has three other axes of rotation on the cabin what makes it possible to simulate all the possible trajectories. It’s really an impressive machine to see and the figures about it are also:
Ten years of construction, maximum acceleration of 30g, 27MW of electric power.


Unfortunately we couldn’t go upstairs to see the control room and inside the cabin because the arm was in work.

Then they lead us in the building of the simulators. It’s a large room which comprises various Soyuz simulators. Although the vessels are fixed they make it possible to simulate the various phases of flight of the Soyuz in space: Rendez-vous and stowing, remote piloting, phase of re-entry in atmosphere.

Simulators Soyuz simulator

Soyuz simulator

The visit in the Stars City is finished, the only regret that we have is to came after midday, because we did not see the cosmonauts in training (the practices takes in the morning).
We returne to Cosmos hotel by appreciating the Moscovites congestions once again. Fortunately, once arrived at the hotel Rui get his luggages which had been delivered during the day.

The evening, after the meal at the restaurant, we go to walk a little on the red square (very traditional for tourists) and in the neighbourhoods.

Red Square (GOUM et Basilica)Basilica Basil Fool for ChristThe KremlinKarl Marx

Some additional pictures:

Your browser doesn’t not support JavaScript or you disabled JavaScript.

Votre navigateur ne supporte pas JavaScript ou vous avez désactivé JavaScript.


Write a comment