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Vivre haut
9,298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last summer I made a space exploration-themed trip to Russia and Kazakhstan.
I went to Moscow where I visited the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, and the famous Star City (Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) where every man or woman sent to space has to train.
Then I took a flight to Baikonur where I could attend the launch of the Soyuz MS-05 mission which transported three astronauts/cosmonauts (Sergey Ryazansky, a Russian, Paolo Nespoli, an Italian, and Randy Bresnik, an American) to the International Space Station.

I took lot of pics and videos.
Here is a little kind of trailer I made from some of the videos I shot in Baikonur :

Now, let's start by the pics of the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics. The museum is of course focused on Soviet and Russian space exploration. It's very interesting because the general public often sums up their achievements to the first satellite in space (Sputnik) and the first human in space (Gagarin), and all their other achievements are overlooked, or simply not very well known in the West, because we tend to stick to the idea that the Russians/Soviets lost the space race when Americans made it to the moon. Sure, USSR never managed to send a man to the moon, but their contribution to space exploration isn't limited to Sputnik and Gagarin.

1- The museum's exterior :


3- A full scale mockup of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite sent to space (in 1957) :

4- A lunar globe :

5- A mockup of the International Space station. You can see the pic of Sergey Ryazansky on the top left :


7- A mockup of Saturn V, the rocket from Apollo program :

8- A mockup of the Soyuz rocket on its launch pad :


10- A mockup of the Space Shuttle :



13- A mockup of Buran, the Russian space shuttle, which only made one successful (unmanned) flight in 1988 before the program was abandoned because it was too expensive :

14- Buran on its launch pad :


16- The signatures of the astronauts and cosmonauts who took part in the famous Apollo-Soyouz mission in 1975 :

17- A full scale mockup of Kosmos 1514 satellite (or Bion 6) sent in 1983 :


19- A full scale mockup of Luna 16, the first probe to take back automatically a lunar ground sample to Earth (1970) :


21- A full scale mockup of Lunokhod, the first remote-controlled rover to move on the surface of another astronomical object. It's a bit like the grandfather of all these rovers we have sent to Mars since then. It explored the Moon's surface from november 1970 to september 1971 :


23- Pics of all the Soviet and Russian cosmonauts :

24- A full-scale mockup of Venera-1, the first ever probe sent to Venus (1961) :

25- A mockup of Mir Space Station :

26- A full scale mockup of a Mir module (you can walk in) :




30- Yuri Gagarin, first man in space (1961) :

31- Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space (1963) :

32- Alexey Leonov, first human to conduct an extravehicular activity in space (1965) :

33- Vladimir Komarov, first man to lose his life during a space mission (1967) :

34- Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, one of the founding fathers of astronautics :



Next episode : Star City !

Vivre haut
9,298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Visiting Star City, the famous training center for cosmonauts and astronauts located near Moscow.
Unfortunately, for some reasons (lot of rules and other restrictions there for foreign visitors), I couldn't see two of the main attractions of the site : the centrifuge where astronauts/cosmonauts test their resistance to heavy G's, and the pool where they can train in "fake zero-gravity".

37- The Soyuz training modules with a group of astronaut's family members and friends invited to visit the center :




41- Some samples of "space food" :

42- The infamous spinning chair :

43- The ATV training module :

44- The wall with the pics of all the crews which flew to the ISS :

45- And here is the one with Thomas Pesquet, a French astronaut, very popular here :

46- The Mir module training :

47- This one is not a training module, it really went to space !

48- Mir Space Station :


50- Space food again :

51- Yuri Gagarin :


53- Vladimir Komarov, a Soviet cosmonaut who died during a space mission in 1967 and who really looks like Manuel Valls, a French politician.

54- ISS training modules :







61- Space shuttle training module :

Bonus :
Not in Star City, but in VDNKh Park, near the museum of Cosmonautics, you can see some of the achivements of USSR and Russia in aeronautics and astronautics.


63- A Tupolev and a Vostok rocket :

64- A Buran shuttle :

65- A Soviet space exploration-themed children playground. You can recognize Sputnik, a Soyuz spacecraft, the Lunokhod, etc.

66- The Vostok rocket :

67- A Mil Mi-8 helicopter :

68- A Mig 29 fighter aircraft :


Next episode : Baikonur

Feliz pela Vida que segue
12,077 Posts
Exciting images of Space Age - thanks for sharing with us :)

Vivre haut
9,298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Baikonur, Kazakhstan, July 26th 2017 : installation of the rocket on the launch pad for the Soyuz MS-05 mission to the International Space Station.

70- Arriving on site early in the morning :


72- Watching the roll-out of the rocket from the hangar :







79- The hangar from which the rocket has been rolled out is in a pretty bad shape :

Vivre haut
9,298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Visiting the abandoned launch control centrer of the Buran space shuttle.


112- An overall view of the Buran launch facilities :



115- We couldn't take pics of the exterior of the building where the launch control center was located. I assume it was more because it was extremely dilapidated than because it was top secret or anything like that. Here is a pic I managed to take before a guard told me to stop taking pics :

116- The launch control center was located in some sort of giant bunker. We had to walk a long and dark corridor to reach it. At some point, there was this mural painting which seemed out of place :

117- The control center :








5,074 Posts
just amazing! i started to learn russian language some years ago because i wanted to become an aerospace engineer and i took some lessons about nano satellites in Samara, but my dream is to take that tour on Baikonur.

Vivre haut
9,298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Visiting a space-themed highschool in Baikonur :


139- Portraits of Putin and Nazarbayev (president of Kazakhstan) in the entrance lobby :

140- In this school, students have rocket modelling classes :

141- Some of the pretty cool rockets built by the students. They are supposed to fly :



144- Hallways are full of space-themed mural paintings as well as full-scale mockups :




148- The chemistry classroom :

149- In the biology classroom they had some weird stuff, like busts of the different human "races" :

150- The art classroom :


152- Another room full of rocket and plane models :

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