Baikonur is the first and largest cosmodrome in the world. This location excites the minds of all those who care about the distance and impressive buildings. So, what hides behind the walls of the cosmodrome?
Birth of the legend of Cosmonautics
In official documents, cosmodrome’s birthday is June 2, 1955. It was then that the first and main spaceport of the USSR entered service. It is located on square of 6,717 km² near the village of Toretam. In total, the complex consists of an extensive infrastructure, which includes 15 launch complexes of nine types for launching launch vehicles and four launchers for testing intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as various complexes for different types of work. It is noteworthy that after the collapse of the USSR, the complex became the object of lease, and now the Russian Federation lays out about 9 billion a year to Kazakhstan. Baikonur is still leading in the number of launches per year, which indicates that the legendary cosmodrome not only works, but hasn’t lost its status.
The place for construction was chosen for a reason. Baikonur is located near one of the largest Central Asian rivers, Syr Darya, and the important Moscow-Tashkent railway artery. Another positive factor is the relative proximity to the equator.
In the 1960s, a major accident occurred here, but this had practically no effect on the performance of the cosmodrome. Over the entire period of its existence, more than 1,500 spacecraft, more than 100 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and more than 80 types of spacecraft and their modifications have been launched. It is difficult to imagine the complexity of the work of the cosmodrome employees.
“Space program Energy-Buran”
The program called “Energy-Buran” is a space program of a reusable transport space system. Its foundations were laid back in 1975, and there are only two implemented programs of this type in the world. Over the system, “Energy-Buran” worked 70 ministries and departments, and 1,286 enterprises, which involved more than a million people. For 18 years of development budget exceeded 16 billion rubles. His first and only space flight “Buran” made November 15, 1988, by means of the carrier rocket “Energy.”
Flight of the rocket is remarkable for its accuracy. Just imagine: the rocket flies at a speed of almost 28,000 km / h, flies around the earth twice, and then returns to the starting point with a fault of only 1.5 meters. But that’s not all, because the flight takes place completely on autopilot. This flight was even listed in the Guinness Book of Records!
Behind the walls of the cosmodrome
Stalkers do not bypass the Baikonur side, although getting there, to put it mildly, is very difficult. On a direct road link, the cosmodrome is located almost 400 kilometers from Moscow. There is also an aviation message, but it is available only to a select few, or rather, to the staff of the location. As for the railway message, it solves only part of the problems and can hardly be called route optimization.
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In total, there are 92 buildings located on the territory of Baikonur, each of which has its own purpose, degree of protection and importance. The buildings are mostly of the same height, although there is a workshop 2.5 km from the launch site “Gagarinsky Start,” which is 15 meters high.
Interesting fact: Baikonur has a fake wooden twin. Construction lasted about the same years as the construction of the main object, and the goal was to deceive potential enemies. The wooden “cosmodrome” was considered a real Baikonur until the launch of the “Vostok-1” with Gagarin on board. In addition to various buildings for research, there exists its own capital – the city of Baikonur, which was once called Leninsk. This is where testers and their families live.
Since 2013, a scheme due to which the ship reaches the ISS in just 6 hours has been successfully applied. Previously, it took two days, so this is a certain progress. When launching a rocket, the air oscillations are just incredible. Vibrates not only the whole body, but also buildings around at a distance of several kilometers. Just in a minute after the launch, the rocket is at around ten kilometers in the sky. As soon as the launch occurs, the life of the cosmodrome returns to the unhurried pace of life.
The rocket launch schedule is agreed in advance, and some travel agencies even sell special tours, giving all astronautics fans a unique chance to see the rocket launch with their own eyes.
Baikonur is a legendary place, and having seen how a huge rocket bursts into the skies, you will surely not forget such a sight. It is at such moments that you understand that driving is closer than it seems.
Photos from the source.