Author Topic: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome  (Read 7339 times)

Offline Danderman

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Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« on: 02/04/2015 04:17 PM »
This is going to come up sooner or later, how to see launches from the Eastern Cosmodrome.

Is it possible to simply take a flight from Moscow to some city near the cosmodrome, and take a taxi to the perimeter of the facility? Can someone cross the border from China, assuming a visa is in hand?

Are there companies preparing to offer tours for launches?
« Last Edit: 02/04/2015 09:21 PM by Danderman »

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Touring Vostchny Cosmodrome
« Reply #1 on: 02/04/2015 04:20 PM »
This is going to come up sooner or later, how to see launches from the Eastern Cosmodrome.

Is it possible to simply take a flight from Moscow to some city near the cosmodrome, and take a taxi to the perimeter of the facility? Can someone cross the border from China, assuming a visa is in hand?

Are there companies preparing to offer tours for launches?

I asked the same question some time ago:

I wonder if someone is planning to visit Vostochniy for its first launch in a year or two from now, given its civilian space center status? It is only a 3-4 hours drive from the city of Blagoveshchensk, which has daily widebody flights from Moscow, so it shouldn't be as difficult to get there as Baikonur....  ::)

(ironically it is easier to get there from Beijing than from Moscow, because Blagoveshchensk is on the other side of the Amur river with the Chinese border city of Heihe, which has daily flights and trains from Beijing and Harbin!)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Danderman

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Re: Touring Vostchny Cosmodrome
« Reply #2 on: 02/04/2015 04:24 PM »
For that matter, what is the status of tours to Baikonur under the current sanctions regime?

Kazakhstan: Space-Launch Tourism Not Blasting Off as Promised

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/70371

According to this article, travel to Baikonur is being restricted.
« Last Edit: 02/04/2015 07:54 PM by Danderman »

Offline asmi

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Re: Touring Vostchny Cosmodrome
« Reply #3 on: 02/04/2015 05:14 PM »
For that matter, what is the status of tours to Baikonur under the current sanctions regime?
I'd say as long as you're not in a list of sanctioned individuals, it should be just like before.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #4 on: 02/09/2015 08:50 PM »
I noticed that there are Baikonour tours available from Almaty, or at least there were.

Another approach would be to visit a city in Kazakhstan under the ground track, I would assume that a close enough vantage point would be spectacular, although I have never ever seen video of a launch from Baikonour taken downrange in Kazakhstan. We have seen views of staging taken from the cosmodrome, but seeing the staging from 50 miles downrange would provide a closer view.

Online Stan Black

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #5 on: 02/09/2015 09:02 PM »
I noticed that there are Baikonour tours available from Almaty, or at least there were.

Another approach would be to visit a city in Kazakhstan under the ground track, I would assume that a close enough vantage point would be spectacular, although I have never ever seen video of a launch from Baikonour taken downrange in Kazakhstan. We have seen views of staging taken from the cosmodrome, but seeing the staging from 50 miles downrange would provide a closer view.

Close enough to smell the hypergolic propellants.
« Last Edit: 02/09/2015 09:21 PM by Stan Black »

Offline Danderman

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #6 on: 02/09/2015 10:43 PM »
Which reminds me that not too long ago, Dneprs launched into sun synchronous orbits from Baikonur passed amazingly close to the city of Baikonur in the first minute after launch. Then, a Dnepr on such a mission failed, leaving a big crater in Uzbekhistan, not too far downrange from Baikonur, and they moved sun sync launches elsewhere.


Offline Lanista

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #7 on: 02/10/2015 06:08 AM »
The chipest way is here, i used them to visit Baikonur 4 yers ago.
They also work with non russian tourists.
http://baikonurtour.travel-net.ru/contacts/
E-mail: [email protected]

Skype: baikonurTour

Offline Danderman

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #8 on: 02/10/2015 07:59 PM »
I am looking at Karaganda as a vantage point to see a Baikonur launch - it is 600 kilometers downrange,  but very close to the ground track. 

Offline Lanista

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #9 on: 02/12/2015 10:54 AM »
What is the point to spend a lot of money for visit to Kazakhstan and to save on a trip to Baikonur?
Most of all you will spend for tickets to Kazakhstan, tour cost across Baikonur is insignificant against it.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #10 on: 02/14/2015 02:41 PM »
April 24 MexSat-1 Proton-M/Briz-M Baikonur, 200/39
April 28 Progress M-27M (No. 426) Soyuz-2-1A Baikonur - 07:09

Looks like a visit to Karaganda in late April might be an opportunity to watch a launch from downrange - apparently, the Progress fairing falls not far from Karaganda, so the city is on the ground track for Progress launches.

I have never seen a video of a launch from downrange under the flight path, so this might be interesting.

Alternatively, I am interested in seeing if I could see the launch under the auspices of a Kazakh tour agency, but AFAIK, these agencies do not have a great track record.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #11 on: 02/21/2015 05:45 PM »
This begs the question as to what "city" in Kazakstan would offer the best vantage point downrange from a launch, in terms of closeness to the ground track, but that is also reasonable in terms of accommodations and transportation, as I don't want to stay in a yurt.

I don't understand why there is little or no video of launches from Baikonur downrange (I have seen video of launches taken from cities in Russia, and there was one taken in the north of Kazakstan), maybe it's because the visibility downrange is poor.

« Last Edit: 03/04/2015 07:47 PM by Danderman »

Offline Danderman

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #12 on: 03/04/2015 07:49 PM »
I am looking at Dhusaly as a vantage point to watch a launch - it seems close to both the launch site and the launch path.  The problem is how to get there, I have not seen evidence that there is a train station there, nor a hotel.

There is also the possibility of getting off a train at Tyuratam, watching a launch, and then getting back on a train going back east.  I have heard of people trying to get into Baikonur from Tyuratam to no avail, and then being stuck at the train platform.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #13 on: 04/07/2015 05:26 PM »
I have booked passage for Kazakhstan to observe a couple of launches from the downrange vantage point. I hope to generate some videos for YouTube and here.

Hopefully, the launch schedules won't slip too badly.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #14 on: 04/07/2015 05:42 PM »
So....any reports of local tour plans around Vostochniy? I would not be surprised if the new cosmodrome brings in a lot more tourists to that area of the poorer Far East....
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Danderman

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #15 on: 04/07/2015 05:57 PM »
So....any reports of local tour plans around Vostochniy? I would not be surprised if the new cosmodrome brings in a lot more tourists to that area of the poorer Far East....

Nothing yet.

I am thinking about a visit to Heihe, Manchuria for December 25, but it's really cold there, and its not that close to Vostochny.

Online russianhalo117

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #16 on: 04/07/2015 06:45 PM »
So....any reports of local tour plans around Vostochniy? I would not be surprised if the new cosmodrome brings in a lot more tourists to that area of the poorer Far East....
I know there are occasional youth camp, school, university and local resident tours, but nothing to my knowledge on tours for foreign citizens as well as any adults in Russia at this time. Keep in mind that tours will become a thing one cosmodrome construction is finished.
« Last Edit: 04/07/2015 06:46 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline Danderman

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Re: Touring Vostchny or Baikonur Cosmodrome
« Reply #17 on: 05/08/2015 10:27 PM »
I did find the US State Department section on travel to Kazakhstan, and they referenced a 2008 law that forbids foreigners from visiting Baikonur without a special visa, which puts an end to any plan to just showing up in the former city of Leninsk and hanging around.  I believe that foreigners could probably get to Tyuratam, but there is nothing there, just a train yard.

There are other sections of Kazakhstan similarly off limits to foreigners, per the State Dept.

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