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Tour to Bikonur
Real Impressions of Tour to Baikonur
We started our tour to legendary Cosmodrome Baikonur in Moscow airport. We were exciting of seeing the launch of space rocket with cosmonauts aboard. The first satellite and first man were launched to the space from Baikonur Cosmodrome. The history of Baikonur started in 1955 and since that time it attracts all people who dream of space. We arrived to airport “Kraniy,” whole way took us 3 hours by plane. Bright sun and fresh wind met us. Our meeting representative helped us with custom formalities and luggage. By comfortable buses passing all check points we arrived to hotel “Centralnaya”. Today, Baikonur is cozy town with population around 70 thousand people, with clean green streets and happy citizens. We accommodated in hotel very quick. The hotel “Centralnaya” is situated in downtown, close to Arbat street. Arbat street is a real name of this street, it was named after Arbat Street in Moscow. There are a lot of cafes, restaurants and shops in this street.
After some rest we started our sightseeing tour of Baikonur city. In the beginning we went to History Museum of Cosmodrome Baikonur. The collection of the museum tells about the groundbreaking of Cosmodrome Baikonur. There is collection of simple tools which were used during construction of this complicated complex, the photos of military engineers who built the Cosmodrome in difficult environment and unsettled living conditions. There are models of all space crafts and satellites which are launched from Baikonur. The whole hall shows the history of exploration programs of Moon and Planets of Solar System, such as Mars, Venus and so on. The model of Solar System is very impressive. Everybody will find something interesting in this museum.
After museum we visited Gagarin’s summerhouse, which is situated on the bank of the Syr Darya River. This place is famous because here the decision of candidate of First Cosmonaut in the world was made. State Commission with S. Korolev decided that Y. Gagarin would go to space and G. Titov was chosen as his backup cosmonaut. On the way back to our hotel we made stops near Monument of “Soyuz” rocket and Monument of M. Yangel – leading missile designer in the Soviet Union. In the evening we had very delicious dinner in the best city restaurant and surprise – belly-dance, which was performed by local super dancers.
Next day was Launch Day and we woke up early in the morning. We had 1 hour ride by bus to Assembly and Test Facility № 254. We took special places in front of the doors from which the crew should appear. During that time in this building the cosmonauts had last medical check and put on the space suits. The relatives and journalists made a corridor which through the cosmonauts had to pass and reported to Chief of State Commissions about crew’s readiness to go to space. There are two buses: one - for main crew and the second - for backup crew not far from this building. The relatives and friends of Canadian tourist Gi Laliberte cheered up all with jokes and funny clowns’ red noses. When closer the moment of report the atmosphere became more and more nervous and exciting. Everybody in the crowd filled the importance of the moment. Finally the doors were opened and cosmonauts went out with escort of doctors and came fast to State Commissions. There were two short phrases: “The crew is ready for space flight” and “Good luck!” After that the cosmonauts got inside the buses.
When cosmonauts left we went to observation point which was situated 2 km from Gagarin’s launch pad, where “Souyz” space craft was already placed. We could see very well from this point that the rocket is ready and there were last hours before its launch. We bought some drinks and snacks there, made a lot of pictures and started to wait. One hour before launch the repeater station started to repeat the conversation between different technical services about readiness. 30 minutes before launch, 15 minutes before launch, 5 minutes, 1 minute…. All people were waiting for the moment, for the sake they all came to Baikonur. The last farms were separated from the rocket. The rocket seemed as in the fog (the cooling system). Five-Four-Three-Two-One seconds – Launch!!!! Fire erupted from the rocket’s nozzle, the rocket hovered in the height for couple seconds and launched to the space. All people in the observation point gazed after it. We all have the same feeling – the feeling of miracle. We heard from repeater station: 10 seconds – the flight is normal, 100 seconds – the flight is normal. It is difficult to describe what you had just seen you could just feel it when you stood there. As last “buy” from the rocket the small fire appeared in sky, it was falling first stage of the rocket.
We were going to Gagarin’s Launch Pad by bus. It is difficult to believe but we visited Gagarin’s Launch Pad 20 minutes after launch. Gagarin’s Launch Pad was first launch pad which was built specially for Y. Gagarin flight in 1961. Exactly from this place the humanity mad the first huge step to the space. After small tour around launch pad we went to have lunch. Tour Company tried to keep the atmosphere of holiday and prepared the Special Holiday lunch for us with traditional Kazahstan cuisine.
After delicious lunch we went to Assembly and Test Facility №112, where rockets are assembled before the launch. The rocket’s parts are delivered here from different factories of Russia, the rocket is assembled here, and then it is placed in special launcher and is transported by railway with speed 4 km per hour to launch pad. We saw the parts of rocket which would launch in the 15th of October. Later we went back to the city and celebrated the successful launch.
Next morning we spend in Museum of Cosmodrome Baikonur where you can see the unique items such as Y Gagarin’s space suit, the radio which was used by S. Korolev during Y. Gagarin’s launch, first computer and many other things. During the tour the guide told us many interesting facts about first space flights and modern spaceflight.
In the open place of museum we visited “Buran” space craft. It is one of seven Burans which were made in Soviet Union. Inside “Buran” tour guide showed us the movie about “Buran” program of Soviet Union.
Not far from museum there are two famous houses – Y. Gagarin’s house and S. Korolev’s house. Y. Gagarin’s house is famous because here he spent his last night before the first manned launch in history. His friends from First Cosmonaut Team came here in the morning and helped him to put on the space suit. S. Korolev lived in his house for 9 years. It was first nine years of space exploration.
After it we had as usual great lunch and continued tour of “Buran” program. We saw the tremendous launchers which were made especially for “Buran” and “Energia” rocket transportation. We visited the biggest launch pad in the world which was developed for this program. Later we came back to the city, it was too pity that it was our last day in Baikonur.
Next morning we checked out from hotel, went to local market to buy the souvenirs and went to airport for departure.
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2013/02/13/ - SPRING up to 20 % OFF
2013/02/01/ - Brightest news of the week! This year's MAKS Air Show is to take place From August 27th till September 1st!!!
2013/01/28/ - A new date for the Soyuz TMA rocket launch
2013/01/28/ - The first tourist flight on MIG-29 in the New 2013 year with the Country of Tourism LTD travel agency.