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Inside the Russian Space Program


This electrifying exploration of the Russian Space Program is an incredibly close encounter with space flight - the manned launch of a Soyuz spacecraft. In Moscow, tour Star City, Russia's premier cosmonaut training facility, where you can choose to participate in optional cosmonaut training yourself. At Baikonur, the remote Russian launch facility on the Kazakh steppe, witness the roll out of the Soyuz and the raising of the rocket ceremony. Rub shoulders with top international space officials, space veterans and family of the next space crew, and from a special viewing area, witness the heart-stirring launch of the Soyuz on its way to the International Space Station.

For more information about our tour dates and price options, contact Douglas Grimes at 1-800-424-7289 or via email at douglas at mircorp dot com.


Day by Day Itinerary

Days 1-2: Arrive Moscow

Arrive in Moscow, transfer to a deluxe hotel. Tour the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in once-classified Star City, the premier training facility for Russian cosmonauts and foreign astronauts. Meet a Russian cosmonaut and hear first-hand accounts about life in space.

Note: Upon arrival, a Star City physician will conduct physical exams for those who have signed up for the next day's optional cosmonaut training activities. (There are some limitations on participation as well as supplemental fees.)

Day 3: Moscow / Optional Cosmonaut Training day

Today, those prepared for optional cosmonaut training, such as a breath-taking Zero-G flight, head for GCTC. The others head outside of Moscow for a tour of the Monino Air Museum, a coveted stop for anyone interested in aviation.

Days 4-7: Baikonur, Kazakhstan

Board a special flight to the Baikonur Cosmodrome on the Kazakh steppe. Walk alongside the Soyuz rocket during its roll-out to the launch pad, together with the press, military personnel, cosmonauts and their relatives. Appreciate the pioneers of space along the Alley of Cosmonauts. Enjoy VIP seating at the Crew Press Conference at the Cosmonaut Hotel.

Day 8-9: Moscow, Space Exploration Museum

Back in Moscow, begin with a tour of the newly reopened Space Exploration Museum, the Memorial Museum of Astronautics. Visit UNESCO-listed Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery, where such luminaries as Chekhov, Khrushchev and a number of cosmonauts are buried. Gather in the Cold War Museum underground bunker before celebrating with a final farewell dinner.


Optional Cosmonaut Training experiences


Experience up to 4 Gs on a familiarization ride on the world's largest centrifuge, the TsF-18. Simply put, the centrifuge is a long arm with a capsule on one end where the cosmonaut trainee sits. Used for checking and improving cosmonauts' G-load tolerance, the TsF-18 can be described as a gigantic amusement park ride.

Zero Gravity Flight*

Take the ride of your life on a parabolic zero-G simulation flight. Float, soar, cartwheel and hang weightless in the padded cabin of an Ilyushin-76 military transport aircraft as crew members stand by to assist. One of the most exciting and enjoyable of the cosmonaut training exercises, the zero-G flight puts a huge smile on the faces of everyone involved.
*Requires a minimum of six participants.

Orlan Space Suit Training

Don a Russian-engineered Orlan space suit, created especially for spacewalks. These are the suits used by cosmonauts when they leave the International Space Station to perform experiments or routine maintenance. The Orlan DMA has a rigid torso and flexible arms and is entered by a rear hatch in its backpack. Since it is designed for use in zero gravity, it is extremely heavy, so during cosmonaut training, the suit is suspended from a boom to simulate zero gravity. You will go through an actual training session that the current Cosmonauts and Astronauts perform. Learn to open and close hatches and complete a series of operations designed to simulate typical space tasks. The training will include explanations and preparations, donning an Orlan space suit, performing various tasks and maneuvers, and a post training discussion.

NOTE: Upon arrival, a Star City physician will conduct physical exams and prepare those who have signed up and paid for one of the optional cosmonaut training activities.


Trip Details

Length of Trip:

10 days
Departures in 2014: 1
2014 Land Tour Dates:
November 25-December 3, 2014
Land Tour Cost:  
2-16 travelers $14,295
Single Supplement $1,395

Suggested Extensions

MIR can arrange for a pre or post-tour extension for this itinerary. Please contact Douglas Grimes at 1-800-424-7289 or via email at douglas@mircorp.com.

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