From Star City to the Baikonur Cosmodrome

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 rollout 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.

This tour named “Tour of a Lifetime” by National Geographic Traveler

10 Day Trip

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Enjoy unparalleled access to VIP viewing areas
    Enjoy unparalleled access to VIP viewing areas and briefing sessions in Moscow and at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan....
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  • Witness the thrilling launch of a Soyuz rocket
    Witness the launch of a Soyuz rocket on its way to the International Space Station from the VIP viewing area at Baikonur Cosmodrome....
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  • Explore the Air Museum
    Take a drive outside of Moscow to the Aviation Museum, displaying dozens of Russian and Soviet aircraft from various periods and artifacts from the history of Russian aviation...
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  • Train like a real cosmonaut at Star City
    Take the unique opportunity to train like a real cosmonaut by signing up for one of the optional training activities: a Zero-Gravity Flight or Space Walk Training in the Orlan Space Suit Lab at Star City....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of Russia travel experience
  • This tour named "Tour of a Lifetime" by National Geographic Traveler
  • Travel programs such as Princeton and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Russia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • MIR affiliate offices in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk and Ulan Ude
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-2: Moscow, Star City

Arrive in Moscow and gather for a welcome reception. 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. Each program participant receives a special certificate recognizing his or her visit to Star City.


  • Welcome reception and dinner at a local restaurant
  • Star City tour, including the International Space Station (ISS) simulator and the world’s largest centrifuge

Day 3: Moscow, Optional Cosmonaut Training Day

Those prepared for optional cosmonaut training, such as a breathtaking Zero-G flight, head for the GCTC today. The others drive outside of Moscow to tour the space exploration museum, the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics.


  • Optional Zero-G flight, Orlan spacesuit donning or Hydrolab training
  • Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics
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Days 4-7: Baikonur (Kazakhstan), Soyuz launch

Board a special flight to Baikonur Cosmodrome on the Kazakh steppe. Walk alongside the Soyuz rocket during its rollout to the launch pad, together with the press, military personnel, cosmonauts and their relatives. Appreciate the pioneers of space along the Alley of Cosmonauts.

Experience compelling behind-the-scenes events, including the send-off of the space crew from the Cosmonaut Hotel, and the official Ready-To-Go Report. From a special viewing area, witness the thrilling manned launch of the Soyuz to the International Space Station.


  • Baikonur Cosmodrome on the Kazakh steppe
  • Roll-out of Soyuz Rocket and Raising of the Rocket ceremonies
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Days 8-10: Moscow

Back in Moscow, visit UNESCO-listed Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery, where such luminaries as Chekhov, Khrushchev and a number of cosmonauts are buried. Explore the Energia Space Museum, as well as the WWII Memorial at Poklonnaya Gora and Victory Park, before celebrating with a final farewell dinner.


  • 16th century Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery, where luminaries such as Gogol, Chekhov, Khrushchev, Raisa Gorbacheva and Boris Yeltsin are buried
  • The Energia Space Museum, displaying artifacts from the history of space travel in the former Soviet Union and today’s Russia
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 10 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 4-16 Travelers $13,995
  • Single Supplement $1,095

2020 Dates

  • October 8-17
  • $13,995
  • Max 16 Travelers

Group Size

Limited to 16 travelers

Please Note

Land price includes internal air on special round trip flight to Baikonur. Travelers must remain flexible because the trip dates may fluctuate if the launch date shifts.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in well-located first class hotels in the major cities and best available hotels elsewhere. (Best available properties may still be basic and simple.)
  • All meals starting with dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on final tour day.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • Arrival and departure transfers. MIR will arrange for all travelers to be met upon arrival and seen off on departure whether we make your air arrangements or not, provided you arrive and depart in Moscow on the tour start and end dates.
  • Transportation throughout itinerary by private van or coach (size of vehicle depends on group size), and by internal air (Moscow-Baikonur-Moscow).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Services of an experienced, English-speaking MIR Tour Manager with local guides at specific sites.
  • Baggage handling, where available.
  • Bottled water at group meals.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.

Before Your Tour

  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list, reading list, insurance information.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application and instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international airfare is not included in the land tour cost).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in St. Petersburg, Moscow, East and Central Europe before or after your tour. Consider a pre- or post-tour to St. Petersburg, often described as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

While the accommodations we utilize in Moscow are superior class and in Baikonur are tourist class, please keep in mind that some aspects of the tourism infrastructure in Baikonur, Kazakhstan are not up to the standards North American travelers expect. Services are improving in the region; however you may encounter problems with bureaucratic service, road conditions and availability and quality of public restrooms.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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