(c) Sofya Ustinova, 2021

Hello, my name is Mikhail Baskov.

I saw our planet from above many times. It is beautiful. I would like you to have the opportunity to see it from this perspective too.

Today there are many new ways to see Earth from above, even if you’re not a professional astronaut or a pilot: from 10,000 ft; from 25,000 ft; from 100,000 ft (30km); from 100km, or all the way from the lunar orbit.

I’d like to tell you about these various projects and ultimately to help you choose the best one for you.

(c) Amerika Magazine, 1987
(c) Amerika Magazine, #371, Oct 1987

For me it all started in 1986, when we were trying to reverse the Cold War: Gorbachev just met Reagan in Reykjavik, Iceland in October; while I and a group of Young Cosmonauts from the U.S.S.R. met Scott, Antonio and other U.S. Young Astronauts in Huntsville, Alabama in December.

We were successful then. The Cold War was over.

As a result of my trip I caught a serious space bug.

(c) Kirill Mayorov, 2001
(c) Kirill Mayorov, 2006

I’m a rocket scientist by training: I studied in one of the Russian “rocket colleges”: Bauman Moscow State Technical University in the ‘Deep space’ department. I was dreaming of exploring Mars, Venus, and beyond.

By the time I was graduating in the mid 90’s the Russian space industry didn’t really need new people, so after a couple of short projects in Stanford University I switched to the next best thing: civil aviation. However, I stayed connected with space via the Youth Space Center of Bauman University.

Between 1997 and 2022 I worked at an airline /airport, then at Boeing, then at a Russian airline, then at several aircraft leasing and trading companies in Ireland: CIT Aerospace, Avolon and Zephyrus Aviation Capital.

Where am I from? I am from the planet Earth.

I was born in the U.S.S.R. (across the river from China, actually). I lived and went to school in Kaluga (where Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was dreaming about space travel 100+ years ago). I studied spacecraft design and worked in Moscow. I later lived in Seattle and in Northern California.

I even lived on drilling rigs in the Arctic for several months, with the nearest town being 200 km away across the frozen desert. It sometimes felt very much like working on another planet.

In 2008 I decided to move to Ireland.

I found new friends here and this is my home now.

On weekends I work at the Irish Parachute Club as a skydiving instructor and a camera flyer.

I also train for and compete in 4-way skydiving, and trying to beat some skydiving records.

All of my free time I spend immersed in this fantastic new industry which is growing in front of our eyes: space tourism.

(c) footage by Andrey Veselov (2021), organiser: Viktor Kravtsov

The closest I got to space travel myself was this attempt to break the world record. It was a night jump from 17,000 ft and it felt like being in space.

I hope one day I can go higher.

My personal social accounts and contacts: