Baikonur Cosmodrome

The Baikonur Cosmodrome (Russian: Космодром Байконур, Kosmodrom Baykonur; Kazakh: Байқоңыр ғарыш айлағы, Bayqoñır ğarış aylağı), also called Tyuratam, is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan, about 200 kilometres (124 mi) east of the Aral Sea, north of the Syr Darya river, near Tyuratam railway station, at 90 meters above sea level. It is leased by the Kazakh government to Russia (currently until 2050) and is managed jointly by the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Russian Space Forces. The shape of the area leased is an ellipse, measuring 90 kilometres (56 mi) east-west by 85 kilometres (53 mi) north-south, with the cosmodrome at the centre. It was originally built by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s as the base of operations for its space program. Under the current Russian space program Baikonur remains a busy space port, with numerous commercial, military and scientific missions being launched annually. Currently, all manned Russian spaceflights are launched from Baikonur.

Vostok 1, the first manned spacecraft in human history, was launched from one of Baikonur's launch pads, which is presently known as Gagarin's Start.

Read more about Baikonur CosmodromeFeatures, ICBM Testing, Future Projects, Baikonur Museum

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