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Day 7, Wednesday, April 09

This day we have nothing to do on the morning, after waking up late we try to take the subway to walk downtown, but the queue to the cases discourages us. Then we decide to walk in the VDNKh park (opposite to the Cosmos hotel). This park is the one of permanent exposures of the USSR, it was dedicated to agriculture and later to other agro-alimentary and technological branches. This park is splendid and each building has its own architecture, at the end is the building of the cosmos where were installed part of the models which we saw at the Energia museum. Now it is a flower market. The watchman at the entry forbid us to take pictures of the architecture which recall the big palace in Paris (with its long vault out of glass supported by beams out of steel and its stone walls). In front of this building stand the major attraction of the park, the Voskhod on its transport vehicle.

Ukraine houseUkraine house

ZolotoPavillon des radio telecomunications

Hammer and sickleColonnades


At fourteen o’clock we had to go with our interpreter (but not the same as at the beginning) to visit the Korolev’s house. It is not far from the hotel and we go there by foot. From the garden we take photographs of the house but once inside it is prohibited. This house was a gift of the Soviet government to Korolev after the success of Sputnik, he choses this site because it was a calm place (at the time there were no buildings) and it was close to its institute, it belongs now to the Russian government. We enter by under ground, transformed into reception and cloakroom. We puts on-shoes out of plastic and the visit starts. The guide shows us the various parts of the house which did not change since the day of its departure for the operating block in 1966. In the living room, the guide shows us his cinema projector a Ukraine model, Raymond who had the same, request in vain, if it is possible to recover parts for his, the guide smiles then continues his long-winded speech. In his office, one could admire a splendid collection of books on aviation and on aerospace, in English, French and Russian. After having seen the other parts the guide takes back us to the reception where Rui bought everything in the shop.

Korolev s houseHouse s garden

Korolev s statueMuseum reception

The following day at nine o’clock Didier, Andre, Hugo and Raymond go back to France, Rui will return only two days later, and for me I remained a few days more to finish visiting the city. During this last day, Rui and me, go to the offices of the review Novosti-Kosmonavtiki to discuss our recent stay with Ivan Safronov and Pavel Charov (writers at the review).

Novosti Kosmonavtiki

Church in the KremlinChurch in the Kremlin

Cracked bellImperial cannon

Inside the KremlinDome of the Second World War museum

The journey is completed, in spite of organization problems we have done what was planned, and what a program! TsUP, the Stars City, the cosmodrome of Baikonur, a Soyuz launch, meeting with the cosmonauts, it was a child’s dream for many of us and we go back from there with stars in the eyes and a souvenirs for life.

Some additional pictures:

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The whole group at Baikonur

Next step Cap Canaveral ?


Comment from stooks
Time: 2008-07-08, 11.16

Just amazing. Thanks, what a brilliant read.

I’m aiming to go to Baikonur independently, so am expecting it to be pretty difficult to arrange passes and authorisation, but you’ve given me a little idea of what’s involved.

Comment from Paul Medlam
Time: 2008-12-01, 10.57

Just read your fantastic, brilliant, interesting & funny story. Having just returned to the UK after seeing Shuttle Endeavour take off from the Nasa causeway 3 weeks ago and seeing Buz Aldrin and others at the Nasa air & space show the week before it really stuck a chord with me.

A marvellous story, well written

Comment from f
Time: 2009-10-02, 10.42

Merci pour ce récit et ces photos!!!!

Comment from Sören
Time: 2010-02-21, 5.33

Great report, thank you very much! We had similar experiences in Baikonur watching the launch of Soyuz TMA-17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-32Eyh_lDg

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