Postcard from Doug: Watch the rollout of the Soyuz spacecraft from Inside the Russian Space Program

Postcard from Doug: Watch the rollout of the Soyuz spacecraft from Inside the Russian Space Program

Over the last few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to lead several small groups of travelers on our special tour, Inside the Russian Space Program. It’s hard for me to describe the amazing experience of being there at the Russian cosmodrome in Kazakhstan watching an actual manned space launch. Here is a little taste of one of my favorite parts of the whole experience – the rollout of the Soyuz rocket.

Seeing the Soyuz: Up CloseIn the early morning, just as the sun is ready to come up, the huge hangar doors on the assembly building open slowly. Our group stands in wait only 10 or fifteen feet from the rail tracks that will carry the Soyuz to the launch pad. Workers attach it to a waiting locomotive, which begins to pull the rocket out backward, bottom end first, all its ports wrapped in red protective coverings. It’s so close it feels as though you could reach out and touch it. Cameras start to flash as the train begins to move heavily along the tracks, revealing each rocket stage until the full length of the giant Soyuz is passing by in front of us.

What an awesome sight!

(click on photo to see larger version)


Why end might It for YourselfYou can experience this for yourself, on our upcoming Inside the Russian Space Program scheduled to depart in late August 2015.

This year, if all goes well, there will be a special bonus: the famous British singer, Sarah Brightman, is in training and scheduled to join the space crew as a paying customer. Who knows what kind of excitement this will add to an already exciting adventure?

(Top photo: Doug is front and center at the rollout of the Soyuz.  Photo credit: Douglas Grimes)

PUBLISHED: February 11, 2015

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