As the trip was organized by ISU people, we tried to visit as many cool places as possible and I think we succeded! Our first professional visit was to Energia, the company which manufactures Soyuz... and which made possible that Yuri Gagarin and Tereshkova flew into space, Sputnik orbitted the Earth in 1957. They also built the famous space station MIR. During that visit we could feel that we were in one of those places where history of mankind had been written. I was really really cool. I could enter in a Soyuz with Naoko and Ramon Nogueron, dress a soviet space suit and see the mockups of MIR and some of the most famous Russian rockets. However, the coolest thing was without any doubt, the possibility of being next to Yuri Gagarin's capsule. In the picture below you can see it! It is the real one, not a cheap fake ;-) You can notice how destroyed it was... The guide told us some stories about that flight that have to remain confidential if i don't want my blog to get shut down by somebody or something out there XD.
Next day, we visited the Moscow Aviation Institute, university in which Prof Tolyarenko was a lecturer before coming to ISU. There, we could check many soviet rockets, probes, lunar landers... Below a picture of all of us with a nice lunar lander.
The third visit was to Star City, the place where astronauts carry out their basic training to become real astronauts. There we visited many mockups for astronauts to get familiar with the environment they are going to work in when they are in space, the big swimming pool were astronauts are trained to work in microgravity and for EVAs, and a centrifuge arm, used to simulate high gravity loads. This machine is shown below, together with Fred Bard. The astronauts are sat at the edge of the arm and it starts turning. The centripetal accelerations does the rest... They could create more than 20g, but obviously, more than 10g already makes you pass out, so they had never tried that on human beings. At least that is what they said.
Our last visit was going to be to another rocket manufacturer, the one that manufactures Proton, but our visit was call off due to security reasons... Anyway, that gave us more time to visit this nice city called Moscow.We could go to the Red Square several times, visit St Basil's Cathedral and Kremlin, and other churches and cathedrals in the city:
Naoko-chan and Estefania at St Basil's cathedral main entrance.
Nice church or cathedral we found by chance but happened to be very famous
We even had time to go to the opera! We paid 50 rubbles for a ticket with the students discount (less than 1 euro for an opera!!) and enjoyed a 3 hours opera in the coolest opera theater in Moscow! Everybody was wearing expensive clothes and we were kind of scruffy after a very intense week. Anyway, it was interesting and funny (although I slept most of the time... hehe...)