Baikonur tour – Soyuz MS-10 launch
This October we traditionally went to Baikonur together with a big international team of space fans to see off to space Soyuz MS-10 crew with commander Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and flight engineer NASA astronaut Nick Hague.
We watched the roll-out of the rocket from the integration building and its installation onto Launchpad 1, from which Gagarin’s Vostok was launched and from which all manned spacecrafts are launched ever since; we visited all possible pads, sights and museums of Baikonur, learned a lot about its history and construction. During the excursion in the International space school our guests even had a chance to launch their own rockets, though small but nonetheless significant.
On October 11, the launch date, we watched the crew walking out of the Cosmonaut hotel at Pad 17, then visited famous historical Alley and, following the crew’s steps, left for the launchsite to see how the crew already wearing spacesuits reports to the Head of State Commission on the readiness for the launch.
At 14.40 local time the rocket lifted off to the bright clear skies but for the first time in 35 years the spacecraft was not orbited. Due to a booster failure in 119 seconds the launch was aborted and emergency escape system engines ignited. The descent capsule with the crew safely landed in Zhezkazgan region.
Everyone was worried about the cosmonauts. Finally, it was reported that the search and rescue service operational crew had found the capsule and helped the crew out, the cosmonauts’ health condition was stable.
It is so amazing that Soviet specialists back then had designed such a reliable and perfect emergency system able to save cosmonauts’ lives at any stage of the launch.
This off-nominal situation united our group even more but anyhow it’d better never happen again.
Below is our traditional photo report.
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