What to see and visit in Baikonur?
Construction of the closed town (which later became a city) of Leninsk began in 1955, near the Tyuratam passageway. Residents of the junction area were prohibited from entering the city. The population of Leninsk consisted of professionals who came to the main cosmodrome of the country from across the USSR.
After 1995, the city was officially named Baikonur. Today it is something of the capital of the developing cosmodrome. A beautiful, well-kept, clean, and cozy city, comfortable to live in and relax. According to the end of 2018, there are about 75 thousand inhabitants.
What is a must-see in the city?
- The Museum Of Baikonur History. The exhibition of the Museum will acquaint guests with the history of the city and the cosmodrome and with the traditions of the nations of Kazakhstan. Here you can see models of missiles and original objects, historical photos, exhibits, and documents.
- The “Science and Space” stele and other numerous sculptural compositions of model rockets.
- The alley of cosmonauts. Every tree here is planted by astronauts before the space-flight. The oldest tree of the alley was planted by the first cosmonaut — Yuri Gagarin.
- “Soyuz” spacecraft model. It's a real spacecraft that was used to train crews during flight preparation.
- Yuri Gagarin Monument.
- Monument to the rocket Builder M. K. Yangel, the Creator of the Intercontinental ballistic missile and next to it — a monument in the form of this missile.
- The International Space School. Be sure to visit the unique in the post-Soviet International Space School of V. N. Chelomey. There is a large Museum as well, workshops in which students create models and prototypes of spaceships, do model launches at the school mini-cosmodrome. Many graduates of the school later connect their lives with Astronautics and space exploration.
In your free time from official excursions, you can walk around the city. It has its own, Baikonur pedestrian “Arbat” in the city center, on Korolev street. You will also find a surprisingly large number of places of entertainment (more than 50) with Kazakh and European cuisine. There is a cinema, a bowling center, 4 parks, 20 squares, 2 memorials, 19 monuments and the like number of memorials.
Naturally, it is impossible to visit Baikonur and miss the most interesting object — the cosmodrome. Excursions here are conducted only accompanied by employees of Roscosmos, and all tourists at the entrance are checked according to the lists. Since the cosmodrome operates in a secrecy order, it isn't possible to visit all objects. Even photography is not always allowed. But what is permitted is quite enough to get an idea of the grandness of this place.
There are three types of excursions to the cosmodrome:
- Simple sightseeing tour. You will be shown the launch pads, the main objects of the cosmodrome. You will visit the Museum of cosmodrome's history and other open-air expositions.
- To the launch of an unmanned spacecraft (cargo or for injecting a satellite into orbit). In addition to sightseeing tours, you can see the launch of a powerful spacecraft from one of the launch pads.
- To the launch of a manned ship. In addition to all that is included in the first two types of excursions, you will be able to see a press conference and briefing for the crew of the spacecraft, the output, and report of the astronauts to the Chairman of Roscosmos, and the launch of the manned spacecraft.
What else, besides the launch of the launch vehicle, can be seen at the spaceport?
- The Baikonur cosmodrome history Museum is an expanded version of the Museum you visited in the city. There are many more expositions telling about the origins, construction, and events related to the cosmodrome.
- Exposure inside the “Buran”. On one of the sites of the cosmodrome, there is a space shuttle “Buran”, inside of which a small Museum dedicated to the history of the project of manned spaceships of this type is located.
- Exhibition of automotive special equipment of the cosmodrome. Historical cars, used as special vehicles on the territory of the cosmodrome throughout the years.
- The houses of Gagarin and Korolev, in which the first cosmonaut and scientist lived before the flight of Yuri Alekseevich.
- Launchpad 31, an exact copy of the launch pad from which the launch of the ship with Yuri Gagarin was carried out.
- Command post “Energia-Buran”, where the launch of the space shuttle “Buran” was made.
- Monument to the fallen rocketeers on platform No. 41
- Models of Soviet and Russian missiles.
Main types of launch vehicles launched from Baikonur
In different years, different models of spacecraft were sent int...