2019 Russian Space Craft Shell Washes Up On Beach Of Ambergris Caye, Belize


Sounds like the beginning of a low-budget Sci-Fi movie, right?

As soon as I saw the title in the recent San Pedro Sun article, I knew I had to see it for myself.  A piece of a Russian manned rocket ship from the early 1980s that washed up in Belize?  One that was launched from southern Kazakhstan – over 7500 miles from Belize?  This seems CRAZY.

I mean we’ve had unorthodox things was onto the beach on Ambergris Caye before.  Boatloads of Cuban refugees covered in soot after an engine fire.  I’ve seen a submersible that was part of deepwater oil explorationA TransAtlantic pedal boat.  A dead pygmy sperm whale.  We’ve all heard stories of the “square grouper”.  (And that’s just in my 12 years of living on the island.)

I sent a message to David Campos, the man who pulled the shell from the water to find out when I could take a look.  The answer?  Any time.  It was leaning against a coconut tree in front of Indigo Condo and Resort, about 4.5 miles north of Ambergris Caye.

But before I went down there, I quickly watched the episode of Gilligan’s Island where 2 Russian cosmonauts land on…well…Gilligan’s Island.

Notable quote from Ginger:  “Agent 36-25-36 reporting, sir.”

I forgot how bizarre that show is but I consider it research.

We drove down to Indigo and found this.

So cool that the barnacles are in a square – around the ridge where there’s a hatch or panel.

The first thing we noticed – it’s in SHOCKINGLY good shape if it had been in the ocean for over 30 years.  The steel pieces are still basically shiny and….perfect.  Fabric and foam still in good shape.

I know this was made to go into space – but wow.  Really good shape.

Such good shape that someone came with a hack saw and STOLE the largest piece (some sort of mechanism) earlier that morning.

SUCH GREAT SHAPE…I needed more information on this.

My friend found a few pictures of a Russian space scrap that had washed up on the Mexican coast.   I love the photo posted on the NASA chat room.

Couldn’t put a shirt on? 😉

It was identified as a 2015 Launch of a Russian craft from French Guiana.

AHHHH…French Guiana to Belize rather than Kazakhstan to Belize makes LOTS more sense!

Here’s the map of the Gulf Stream.

I gave up after a good amount of googling.

But last night my friend pointed me to a post in REDDIT where a vacationer on the island posted about this find and identified the craft.   GREAT DETECTIVE WORK.

It’s SOYUZ VS22 – launched from French Guiana in 2019.  To deliver broadband satellites to space and then return.

There is an incredible amount of information online – you can actually watch the launch AND the landing.  You can read how the boosters are jettisoned after 118 seconds.


So even though it’s not 1981 and instead 2019 – it’s still WAY COOL.  And you can go take a look at it on the beachfront at Indigo.

There’s even a cute alien clinging to it.  (Starfish are kinda like aliens.)

My suggestion is to make it a tourist stop…very Route 66 Americana style.  How about something like this on the Secret Beach junction?  Give it a bit of Russo-Belizean flair – maybe the starfish??  Sell t-shirts!

Let’s just say that they’d be Russian to it.

Or this?


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