Inside the Cosmodrome: Where Russia launches Americans into space

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN – That rocket looked so tiny from a mile away. Shining white against the dull beige sands of Baikonur, the Soyuz had three people on board all set for a ride to the International Space Station. From this distance, though, it appeared fragile, like a child’s plaything.

Standing beside me was a member of the backup crew, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques. He passed the time talking to me about other launches he had seen. When the Soyuz finally lighted its engines –

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