05 April 2009

Rocket launch in Baikonur

Just back from a wonderful trip to the Russian cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to see the launch of a Eutelsat telecommunications satellite, W2A, on a Russian Proton rocket on 3 April 2009.

While there we -- one British journalist (me) and three French, plus customers and executives of the satellite company from around Europe -- went on a tour of the vast cosmodrome, about the size of the Netherlands, and saw the pad from which Yuri Gagarin was blasted off in 1961 and the space museum, including the Soviet space shuttle, which made one unmanned flight before the project was abandoned in the 1980s.

Here's a camel just outside Baikonur town. I've posted more pictures from Baikonur at http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/alanburkittgray/BaikonurCosmodrome34April2009?feat=directlink