Lonely Planet Writer

Train like a cosmonaut on this dream trip inside Russia’s space program

If you’re a space fan, you can train like a cosmonaut, witness the next manned launch of the Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS), and experience zero gravity on a ten-day trip that begins in Moscow.

US visitor Dorothy Simpson enjoying a zero-gravity experience in Moscow. Image: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Seattle-based adventure travel company, MIR Corporation, is hosting a tour for up to 16 people that will get you up close and personal with the Russian Space Program. The first stop is at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in once-classified Star City, where cosmonauts and astronauts train.

A group of Russian tourists enjoys flying inside a zero-gravity simulator. Image: AFP/Getty Images

You’ll meet a Russian cosmonaut to hear first-hand about life in space, and can embark on optional cosmonaut training. This includes a zero gravity flight, where you can experience what it’s like to float in space while still on earth.

Space fans will love seeing inside the Russian Space Program. Image: MIR Corporation

You’ll then head to Kazakhstan to witness the manned launch of the Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS from a special viewing area. You’ll get to walk alongside the rocket during its rollout to the launch pad, together with media, military personnel, cosmonauts and their relatives.

You’ll head to Kazakhstan to witness the manned launch of the Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS from a special viewing area. Image: Mir Corporation

Back in Moscow, you’ll visit the Unesco-listed Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery, where Anton Chekhov, Nikita Khrushchev and a number of cosmonauts are buried. You’ll also visit the Energia Space Museum and the WWII memorial at Poklonnaya Gora and Victory Park.

The raising of a rocket at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Image: Mir Corporation

The trip takes place from 5 to 14 October, and further information is available here.