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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 11 Jun 2008
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Visiting Baikonur

Hi all

I am currently travelling around Kazakhstan in my own car (UK passport). I want to see the Baikonur Cosmodrome and museum, but have been told it's horrendously difficult and expensive to get permission. Does anyone have any experience of this? If so, is it a complete no-no, or is it possible? If possible, please advise me of the procedure.

Thanks

Mark
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Old 11 Jun 2008
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Baikonur Cosmodrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I remember wanting to visit there, but you will probably have to commit 1-2 weeks just getting there and back from Almaty...as the road that gets near that is awful....and then you have to deal with the Russians who have claimed that area as sovereign territory...
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Old 11 Jun 2008
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We turned up at the gate to just give it a try. We where'nt allowed in, but the sight of a perfect functioning Russian city with traffic lights and all at the other side of the gate was 'interesting'.
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Old 12 Jun 2008
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Thanks for info. Bloody irritating how all the articles I have read about visiting the place on the internet rave about how interesting it is, but neglect to point out that you can't actually get permission to visit unless you've got a spare 2000 USD.
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Old 23 Jun 2008
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we still are hoping to get in there. Some people from my country who were going to Baikonur last year (though they didn't make it at the end because of some injury) said that they will search for contacts they have somewhere for me. They also said that it would cost ~100$/pers. Unfortunately I have not got the contacts yet. But I think that the possibility holds as you can buy almost anything in those countries (corruption).
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Old 24 Jun 2008
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Sure enough, I tried to get in but couldn't. Typical f**ing Soviet mentality - build a museum, then forbid people from visiting it!
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Old 6 Jul 2008
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Baikonur viewpoint - for interest

A follow-up to what I wrote earlier about Baikonur. I did in fact stay the night at Baikonur, at a roadside cafe on the main road. This main road runs east to west, and passes south of the Cosmodrome but north of Baikonur town. The cafe is at N45.67345 E063.29187, and is run by a very pleasant Kazakh family who even have a dog called Laika - how perfect is that?! The ground this cafe stands on is a little elevated above the cosmodrome, which is on very flat ground. None of the launch pads are more than 30 KM north of this cafe.

For those of you who happen to be passing through Baikonur when a rocket launch is happening but don't want to shell out x-thousand dollars to go in to see it, I am 99% sure that any rocket launch taking place at the cosmodrome could be seen from this cafe, at least once the rocket got a few metres into the air.
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Old 28 Feb 2010
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Visiting Baikonur Cosmodrome

Hi,

Any news on this? Does somebody has some newer information about the chance to visit the Baikonur Cosmodrome?

On the web there are several travel agencys offering expensive trips frome Europe to a rocket launch in Baikonur or just for a visit of the Cosmodrome. So it must be generally possible to get in.

But what about just showing up at the gate? Is it necessary / possible to get a permit there or in advance? We will pass Baikonur in May and this would be a nice stop along the way

Thanks!

@ilesmark: Thanks for the GPS coordinates of the cafe, already saved them


See you

Bjoern
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Last edited by El-Dracho; 28 Feb 2010 at 15:13. Reason: misspelling
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Old 28 Feb 2010
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Late May Dnepr • TanDEM-X End of May, Baykonur
Launch site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

An ISC Kosmotras Dnepr rocket will launch the TanDEM-X satellite for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Astrium. TanDEM-X stands for TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurement. The satellite will fly in close formation with the TerraSAR-X spacecraft launched in 2007 to gather precise elevation data. Delayed from Oct. 20 and December. [Feb. 24]

Check it Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule


It would be good to coordinate your journey wit this launch. I have travelled there but there were no start...
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Old 28 Feb 2010
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The agent I used to get my visa in Almaty for Russia said a visit is quite possible, but needs to be pre-arranged (1 month before hand!), and at that time costed the equivalent of 345 pounds sterling.

The road that passes the turn off for Baikonur which comes in rom the north of Kazakhstan from Samara (Russia)....yep, pretty shitty, even has weeds growing from the tarmac at times! But they were working on upgrading it in many places (2009)....but jeez its a long road, many years work methinks.
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Old 1 Mar 2010
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Hi all - didn't realise my thread would arouse so much interest after all this time.

If anyone manages to get into the Cosmodrome, please do let us all know how you got on - in particular, some pics/videos would be really interesting.

And if anyone stays at the cafe, do say hello from me to the Kazakh family
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  #12  
Old 1 Mar 2010
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Have heard now that it is not supposed to be possible to get a permit from here via the consulate

So additional ideas how to get in the cosmodrome are most welcome
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Old 2 Mar 2010
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Follow-up to what I wrote earlier - if you have a look at the Kazakhstan section of my website, there's a few articles about Baikonur - go to near the bottom. I was disappointed not to get inside there - it would have been interesting.

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Old 17 Mar 2010
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i tried at 2005....and was turned back, even before the gates and politely warned by the police not to try again, unless having a valid permission.
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  #15  
Old 28 Apr 2011
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Just to follow this thread up...

Yesterday I watched a Soyuz launch from the road outside the cosmodrome. The cafe ilesmark mentioned was not serving food, and there is a better viewpoint (you can see part of the cosmodrome facility) from about 1km further along the road, around the overpass where the M32 crosses the access road and railway line running from Baikonur city to the cosmodromw itself.

The rocket was distant, and soundless, but it was spectacular all the same. By coincidence, I received a personal invitation today to visit Baikonur, so hoping to get in the facility in autumn.

Daniel
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