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Old Posted Dec 30, 2017, 7:26 PM
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At the Edge of Space - From Moscow to Baikonur

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 :

Video Link




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 :


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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 :


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


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


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10- A mockup of the Space Shuttle :


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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 :


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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 :


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


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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 :


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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) :


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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 :


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Next episode : Star City !

Last edited by Nantais; Dec 30, 2017 at 7:50 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 1, 2018, 12:09 AM
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Looking forward to the photos of Baikonur. I like the video teaser.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 12:49 AM
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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 :


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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 :


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50- Space food again :


51- Yuri Gagarin :


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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 :


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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.

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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 :


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Next episode : Baikonur

Last edited by Nantais; Jan 14, 2018 at 10:10 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 10:52 PM
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Great stuff mate!
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2018, 7:42 AM
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rad!
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2018, 7:53 AM
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i grew up in a major aerospace/defence contractor hub in the 80s, my dad and many neighbors/parents friends entangled in it one way or another. jets seemingly always in the air...friends whos dads were test pilots. i knew what a mig of one kind or another looked like (say vs an F-15 profile or whatever) weirdly early on, i still geek out on soviet aerospace hardware. good stuff.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2018, 1:50 PM
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Whoa, fascinating. I didn't know the Russians had a knock off space shuttle or maybe we stole the idea from them?
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2018, 3:08 PM
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No actually the Soviets made their own space shuttle to not stay behind the Americans in the space race. Above all, they feared that the Americans could have a military use of their space shuttle, so they wanted to have the same kind of spacecraft. Just in case.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2018, 5:35 PM
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That was fantastic, thanks. The Buran and its external boosters looked so much more badass than the shuttle.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2018, 5:53 PM
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2018, 6:08 PM
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2018, 9:37 PM
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Your photos make me wish I had gone into the museum!!

The park is actually VDNKh. Gorky is the one close to the center along the Moskva River.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2018, 10:07 PM
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Oh yes, you're right about the park's name ! How could I confuse them !
I am correcting that.

Pics of Baikonur soon coming. I need to sort them out first.
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2018, 7:41 PM
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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 :


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


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79- The hangar from which the rocket has been rolled out is in a pretty bad shape :
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2018, 7:50 PM
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80- The hangar :


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82- The launch pad :


83- The site is full of giant semi-abandoned structures :


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85- A full view of the hangar :


86- Security guards everywhere :


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Old Posted Feb 18, 2018, 7:56 PM
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2018, 8:04 PM
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2018, 8:28 PM
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Great thread! Thanks.
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Old Posted Feb 19, 2018, 6:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantais View Post
No actually the Soviets made their own space shuttle to not stay behind the Americans in the space race. Above all, they feared that the Americans could have a military use of their space shuttle, so they wanted to have the same kind of spacecraft. Just in case.
not exactly.

the soviets both 100% stole the space shuttle tech via espionage...

... but also, being an open society, perhaps naive? we gave it to them.

now you can probably imagine the former, they did spy stuff, but its the latter that is a bit more fascinating. they just went to the gao office and copied whatever plans were released there!

anyway, one look at the buran, the bootleg soviet shuttle, would tell you all you need to know about that topic. its the proto nasa shuttle as seen on the opening of the six million dollar man tv show.

the buran only flew once. it was too much money to operate so they gave it up. probably not a bad idea as all in all the shuttle was a dangerous and spectactular money pit of a boondoogle for nasa as well.


http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cr...iet-espionage/
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2018, 9:36 PM
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A video I made showing the roll-out of the rocket to the launch pad :

Video Link
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