27 May 2018, right on the city of Saint Petersburg’s 315th official birthday, a car expedition started at the doorstep of the Valentin Glushko Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocket Technology that would go along the route Saint-Petersburg – Baikonur Cosmodrome – Saint-Petersburg.
Veteran cosmonaut and president of the North-West Federation of Cosmonautics Sergei Krikalev came to wish the team a good trip, as well as friends and colleagues.
The team consisted of 7 participants traveling in 3 branded cars: the vice-president of the North-West Federation of Cosmonautics Oleg Mukhin, project coordinator Irina Isaeva, members of the Youth Section of the Federation of Cosmonautics Daria Zaitseva and Maria Scherbakova, director of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonautics Club and space educator Nikita Popov, 360VR photographer Andrew Bodrov and veteran of Baikonur Cosmodrome Vladimir Tikhomirov.
The expedition route took the expedition through 10 cities in Russia and Kazakhstan taking 20 days in total. The team had a very busy time visiting space industry enterprises, schools and universities as well as historic sites related to the history of the Soviet space program. In addition to those activities the team ran open interactive events on space exploration. The expedition travelogue was updated daily in social media and on the Federation’s website, featuring riveting travel moments and great photos.
There was a competition to design the official expedition badge. The honor to do that went to Alima Feizullina (designer with the State Tretyakov Gallery), winner of the competition. The badge features stars that align in the shape of the expedition route.
On the evening of June 1, having covered more than 3,500 km, the expedition arrived at Baikonur Cosmodrome. Leaving the vehicles in the parking lot, the team boarded a minivan and hit the road again, covering another 1,200 km in 6 days.
Every single day was rich in meetings and events. One of the most memorable ones were the Baikonur Cosmodrome Day celebrated on June 2, the transportation and erection of the Soyuz launch vehicle and, without a doubt, the launch of the Soyuz!
One June 8 the expedition headed back home. Two more events called The Open Space Day were held in the cities of Penza and Kaluga. The baikonauts visited the State Museum of the History of Spaceflight named after Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in Kaluga, NPO Energomash in Khimki, Moscow and the S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia in Korolev just outside Moscow.
On June 15 the expedition arrived in Saint Petersburg and the traditional midday firing of the canon at the Peter and Paul Fortress marked the end of the “Star Trek 2018” car expedition.
The expedition in numbers:
- The total distance covered is 8500 km, including 1200 км around the Baikonur Cosmodrome territory
- 12 regions of the Russian Federation visited
- 2 countries (Russia and Kazakhstan)
- 4 Open Space Day events (Ryazan, Samara, Penza, Kaluga)
- 3 space industry enterprises visited
- 8 launch pads of the Baikonur Cosmodrome
- More than 200 360VR panoramic photos
- More than 10 hours of video.