Viewing a Baikonur launch from outside of the restricted area?

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jacoblab1
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Viewing a Baikonur launch from outside of the restricted area?

Postby jacoblab1 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:05 am

Hey everyone!

I'm currently in Almaty, and trying to figure out if it's worth heading to Baikonur to try and view the Soyuz launch on September 25th.

It's far too expensive to actually join a tour, but I was wondering if anybody has tried to just take a train to Tyuratam (Kazakh town right beside Baikonur), and then view the launch from somewhere there? It's a good 30 kilometers from the main road area to the launch pad, so I don't know if I'll see much or what.

Let me know if anybody has tried this before! It's a pretty long train ride, so I don't want to go and not see anything haha.
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Julia
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Re: Viewing a Baikonur launch from outside of the restricted area?

Postby Julia » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:09 pm

Hi.
I've done that. Watched a rocket launch from about 30 km away. Or maybe a bit closer because we took a car and drove from the railroad/road to the steppe closer to the launch point. But still were far from it.
My opinion it doesn't worth it.
It wasn't too bad though. We saw a long bright tail.
I don't even remember now if we saw the rocket body or not.
But definitely it's not impressive as from the view point for tourists.
And you need to know exact point from where the launch will start. Imagine you're in the middle of the steppe and you can't watch 360 area at once.
The rocket leaves the ground very fast. If you miss that moment you'll miss part of the impression.
I was with friends who knew exactly from which side to expect the rocket. And the sky was clear at that day.
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jacoblab1
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Re: Viewing a Baikonur launch from outside of the restricted area?

Postby jacoblab1 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:18 am

Julia wrote:Hi.
I've done that. Watched a rocket launch from about 30 km away. Or maybe a bit closer because we took a car and drove from the railroad/road to the steppe closer to the launch point. But still were far from it.
My opinion it doesn't worth it.
It wasn't too bad though. We saw a long bright tail.
I don't even remember now if we saw the rocket body or not.
But definitely it's not impressive as from the view point for tourists.
And you need to know exact point from where the launch will start. Imagine you're in the middle of the steppe and you can't watch 360 area at once.
The rocket leaves the ground very fast. If you miss that moment you'll miss part of the impression.
I was with friends who knew exactly from which side to expect the rocket. And the sky was clear at that day.


Thanks for the reply :) It does seem like a long way to go just to see a light trail. If I was continuing to Western Kazakhstan maybe it'd be worth it, but since I'd be going to Baikonur and then backtracking to Shymkent, I'm not too sure.

And then yeah if the weather is bad and the launch is cancelled, or clouds hide the rocket after a few seconds, it would be rather boring.

Maybe someday I'll just save up for a proper tour instead haha.

Thanks again for the info!
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Hugh
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Re: Viewing a Baikonur launch from outside of the restricted area?

Postby Hugh » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:57 pm

Man, I'd love to see a launch! 😃

How much does it cost to go inside?
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Julia
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Re: Viewing a Baikonur launch from outside of the restricted area?

Postby Julia » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:58 pm

Hugh wrote:Man, I'd love to see a launch! 😃

How much does it cost to go inside?


You need to buy a tour from one of the Baikonur tour companies.
The advertisings I saw were about $800 - $1000 per person. Need to apply about 50 days before the dates of your visit.
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Hugh
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Re: Viewing a Baikonur launch from outside of the restricted area?

Postby Hugh » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:56 pm

Julia wrote:
Hugh wrote:Man, I'd love to see a launch! 😃

How much does it cost to go inside?


You need to buy a tour from one of the Baikonur tour companies.
The advertisings I saw were about $800 - $1000 per person. Need to apply about 50 days before the dates of your visit.


😲😲😲😲😳😳😳😳 That. Is. RIDICULOUS!!!

But thank you very much for the info.

Crazy...
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Julia
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Re: Viewing a Baikonur launch from outside of the restricted area?

Postby Julia » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:22 pm

The reason why the tours are expensive is that Baikonur wasn't meant to be a tourist's attraction.
They could make Baikonur completely closed and unavailable for visitors.
Like there are other objects not available for tourists but could be interesting if the authorities opened them.
At least Baikonur is possible to visit. But prices are too high indeed.
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