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  5 Days at the Cosmodrome
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Soyuz Liftoff Baikonur


NEXT SPACE AFFAIRS SOYUZ EXPEDITON: Soyuz MS-15 - lift off scheduled September 25, 2019 (TBD)

1. Day
You arrive Moscow. Domodedevo Airport is recommend for arrival. After immigration you will be welcomed by our local guides and you will be carried with the complete group to your hotel "Soyuz Land Resort", only in distance of 15 minutes to world legendary "Star City". After check-in the group will meet for a dinner. You will spend the night in the hotel.

2. Day
After breakfast, our expedition group will be transported to Star City. There the world famous Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) is located. Here the international astronaut crews and the Russian cosmonaut crews are in their long term training for to reach the stars.

We will visit in a 2,5 hours tour all special points of interest. We will see the big Hydrolab, the Space Station MIR mock-up, the real Russian modules of the Space Station ISS, the biggest human centrifuge TfS-18 and the Soyuz simulators for flight operation and for Soyuz docking. Our expedition group will be attend by a GCTC specialist, mostly an engineer.

The ISS Hall - GCTC - (c)2009 by Rainer Unkel

The lunch will be held in Star City, afterwards we are visiting the Star City museum named of Yuri Gagarin. This museum is the most best museum what is still existing, here you will find a lot of real historical things of the beginning of rocketry in Russia or the beginning of training for to fly a human to the stars. One facility is only honouring Yuri A. Gagarin, the first human who flown to space on April 12, 1961.

The evening dinner we will take in the Hotel Soyuz, you will spend one night in the hotel.

3. Day
After the breakfast we will check out and will be transported to the airport. This could be the civilian airports Vukov, Domedevo or the military airfield Chakalovsky. Depends on the mission, we will use a normal continental flight or a special charter flight of a plane of the GCTC to do the around 3 hour flight to the Krainy airport, nearby Baikonur/Kazakhstan.

On the flight to Baikonur - (c)2008 by Space Affairs

After the ca. 3 hours flight we will be picked up by our guide at Baikonur and will be transported to the Hotel Sputnik, what is the best hotel at nearby the launchpads. We will have dinner in the evening and spending the night at hotel Sputnik.

4. Day
The morning begins early and after a short breakfast we will be driving to the Soyuz Integration hall, and we will be watching the roll out of the Soyuz rocket. The rocket is mounted on a big train and will transported to the nearby launchpad (what is in general the Gagarinsky launch pad, or launch pad No# 1).

We will have then the possibility to drive beside the rail-road to the pad and will do some stops, so that you can watch the travel of the rocket to the pad. You will have a lot of possibilities to make your own special photos and videos.

The Soyuz train on the rail road to the Gagarinsky launch pad - (c)2013 by Ton Schudelaro

Several hours later you can watch the erection of the Soyuz rocket directly beside on the pad. You are standing 10 meters in distance of the giant telescope arm what will push the rocket upwards in vertical position. Then the rocket will be logged in the launch pad and you can watch the preparations directly of the workers and engineers.

Soyuz rocket erecting on the Gagarinsky launch pad - (c) 2008 by Space Affairs

After the rocket is erected, we are leaving the platform and doing some lunch. After lunch we will do some sightseeing of the cosmodrome and the launchpads. It is planned, to visit the launchpads of Buran and Energia, unfortunately this is not always possible because of security issues. But you will get in touch with Baikonur, no worry.

We will visit the complex of "Energia" and will be guided from a specialists in the big integration halls, where the the next Soyuz or Progress spaceships are tested before mounted on the Soyuz carrier rockets.

Also, we will visit the Soyuz integration hall where the next rockets for space missions will be stored. More close you will never come on a rocket booster of Soyuz in your lifetime! Evening dinner we will take in the hotel Soyuz.

5. Day
After the breakfast in the hotel we will be transported to the Cosmonaut hotel and will participate on the international press conference with the prime and the backup crew.

We will make a walk on the "Cosmonauts walk of fame" where every crew planted a own tree since Yuri Gagarin. It is a very special place to stay and the environment is very historical. You will stop by some trees where are planted by Yuri Gagarin, Alexeij Leonov or Valentina Tereshkova!

Press conference of the prime and backup crew - (c)2005 by Markus Gloger

Lunch we will have in a city restaurant and then we will visit the afterwards the Gagarin- and Korolev cottages and the Baikonur space museum. In front is a big 1:1 model of the soviet orbiter "Buran", in which you can get in! The evening dinner we will have in the hotel Sputnik.

6. Day - launch day (schedule TBD July 20, 2019 - TBD)
Since Soyuz is equipped digital, all the launches will be held at night. Time from lift-off to docking will be only around 6 hours! Around midnight we will travel to the hotel of the cosmonauts and will watching the good bye ceremony.

We will follow the trek of the cars to the Energia complex again and will have the chance to stay inside of the room, where behind big glass windows the prime crew is checking their Sokol space suits. After it is all checked, there will be held a family meeting with fellows and friends. Afterwards we will watch the "Ready to go coeremony" infront of the building.

Prime crew during their pressure suit testing - (c)2005 by Markus Gloger

We will leave the complex and will be transported to the sightseeing view point, only in 1,5 kilometre in distance from the Gagarinsky launch pad. We will watch the last preparations of the Soyuz rocket on the pad and you have the chance to make a bunch of photos and footages.

Between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. tbd) in the middle of the night the lift-off will occure and you will have a astonishing launch in the dark sky of Kazakhstan! When the weather is very good you can watch the Soyuz rocket disapearing in the sky above the cosmodrome. You will see the booster separation and the known "Korolev's cross".

Night launch - Soyuz TMA-10M - (c)2013 by Manfred Uhlig

After the launch we will be transported back to the hotel where we will have some hours of rest, until we will be carried to the town hall of Baikonur. On a big screen we will watch the live docking of Soyuz at the International Space Station ISS, approx 6 hours after lift off. After the docking is completed we will have breakfast. (Attention: this will only be held if Roskosmos decides to to with Soyuz the 4-burn orbit trajectory maneuver. If Roskosmos will decide to use the old flight path of 47 hours to dock with the ISS, we will not see the docking at Baikonur.)

Live docking of Soyuz TMA-10M - (c)2013 by Manfred Uhlig

Dinner will be done in the hotel and, depending on the flight plan, we will leave the hotel to the airport, where we will have our flight back to Moscow (ca. 3,5 hours). After arrival in Moscow, transfer to the hotel.

7. Day
After breakfast we will drive to Moscow and will visit Energia Space museum (if available!) and the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics. After this we will do a tour "Moscow by night" with a evening dinner in a restaurant in Moscow.

The night we will stay at the hotel Soyuz Land Resort.

8. Day
After the breakfast we will drive to the city of Koroljov and will visit the MCC (Mission Control Centre). There we will watch some activities and some communications between the MCC and the Space Station ISS (depends on time). We will be instructed by a special engineer who will explain all the communications and routines to speak with the crews in space.

The Mission Control Center (MCC) in Koroljov - (c)2005 by Markus Gloger

Lunch we will take at a restaurant at Koroljov our at the hotel Soyuz. In the afternoon we will drive to Moscow and will do a big city tour including the Red Square and the GUM supermarket, directly at the Red Square.

The farewell dinner we will have in a restaurant at Moscow and we will be transported then back to the hotel where we spend a night again.

9. Day
After breakfast we will check out of the hotel and will be transported to the airport, and then we say "Doswedanja, Moscow" and will catch our flights to home.

SPACE AFFAIRS group at Baikonur - (c)2008 by Space Affairs

* Times depending on the docking schedule of Soyuz at the ISS.
Attention: Given times and days could change in advance or shortly before the planned liftoff.

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