Baikonur tour – Soyuz TMA-13M launch
Sanctions in Space?
No. Space is beyond the politics! New international crew consisting of Commander Maksim Surayev (Roscosmos) and flight engineers Reid Wiseman (NASA) and Alexander Gerst (ESA) symbolizes the unity of different countries despite complicated political situation. Our team seeing Soyuz TMA-13 crew off to the ISS was international either: this time the guests from USA, Great Britain and Russia joined our exciting Baikonur Tour.
Our 5-day program included all the most interesting prelaunch events: spectacular installation of the rocket on #1 launchpad (Gagarin launch), heartwarming press conference with main and back-up crews in “cosmonaut” hotel, farewell ceremony with traditional space song “Trava u doma” and report to State Commission. Besides our guests also visited RSC Energia integration building, museums of Baikonur city and spaceport, Buran shuttle, Korolev and Gagarin memorial houses, famous Cosmonauts Alley, where the cosmonauts plant trees before their first space flight. They also visited International Space School where they got a chance to sit in the real descent module and launch their own rocket models.
Our guests appreciated traditional cuisine of Kazakhstan visiting real Kazakh yurt, they bought colorful souvenirs on the central market, walked along Arbat street of Baikonur city and talked to the cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy who accompanied Maksim Surayev’s family to the spaceport.
Finally all the guests gathered at the observation point waiting for the rocket to be launched. And at 23.07, Moscow time, Soyuz TMA-13M went to the orbit.
By the way now we have one more important and very interesting option in our program, we watch on-line docking of Soyuz spacecraft with the ISS and the process of hatch opening. This emotional and happy event concluded our Baikonur program.
Preparations of Soyuz tMA-14M spacecraft for the launch are already under way. This time the crew comprises the 4th Russian woman-cosmonaut Elena Serova. Join our tour to see the brave Russian woman off to her first ever space flight!