Baikonur Cosmodrome - The biggest "stadium" in the world!
Baikonur Cosmodrome became historical for the whole planet, here the faith of our civilization was decided and the countdown of the new era of living for people started. During the period from June 2 to June 4, 2000 the celebration dedicated to the 45th anniversary of Baikonur (former Leninsk) took place. In the very beginning of the object construction, no one thought that in the future there will be a cosmodrome in this place from where the cosmic rockets will be launched. There was no such word as “cosmodrome” in Russian language that time. The most suitable word for the constructing object was “the experimental range”. When one of the builders asked Sergei Korolev about what was going to be there in the end, Korolev said: “A Stadium! The biggest stadium in the world!”. The policy of the 50-ties led to the regime of so called “cold war”. The USA were counting the number of their nuclear weapons, comparing that number with the number of weapons in the USSR. The history left us the events of the past that we ascertain: On the 12th of August in 1953 the first soviet hydrogen bomb was tested in Semipalatinsk nuclear experimental range. Viacheslav Malyshev, the Vice chairman of the Cabinet saw the destructive power of the bomb. What he saw was enough to get filled with idea of creation a rocket that could transfer up to 4,5 ton of the nuclear energy. USA was a determined destination. Malyshev invited Sergei Korolev to discussed the matter. In ten days Korolev got a sketch of the rocket made by a scientist Sergei Krukov. Later on that sketch turned into a real project of the legendary R-7 missile. Viacheslav Malyshev didn’t see that rocket. He died from serious radiation sickness (result of his watching of the hydrogen bomb testing) in 1957, half a year before the R-7 first launch. In 1954 the marshal of the Soviet Union Georgyi Jukov determines a task to find a place to become an experimental range for the rockets testing. The place was found – it became a Tura-Tam double-track section, situated in the endless steppe of Kazakhstan, unknown, hidden from the eyes of the people. In 1955 the first division of military builders got off the train in Tura-Tam. Construction started with the first peg and tents. The first hut was built on May 5, 1955. That time up to 1000 railway cars were arriving to the spot.
In 300 km from Tura-Tam a false experimental range with a model of a wooden rocket to confuse a foreign secret service was built. Finally the experimental range was built. On August, 21 1957 the intercontinental ballistic missile R-7 was successfully launched. On October 4, 1957 that rocket brought the first artificial Earth sputnik to the orbit. After that the experimental range got a name – Cosmodrome. On April 12, 1961 Yuryi Gagarin made the first cosmic flight around the Earth on his spaceship “Vostok”. It lasted for 108 min. After that the Cosmodrome gets a name “Baikonur” and the city gets a name Leninsk. “Baikonur” remembers tragic moments as well. Before the successful start of Yuryi Gagarin, on October 24, 1960 a big explosion of the rocket took place on one of the grounds. Up to 100 people were found dead. After successful start of the first woman cosmonaut on June 16-19, 1963 another rocker explosion took place on October, 24 1963. 7 people were found dead. Since 1992 the vast activity was stopped at cosmodrome. The cosmodrome and the city became almost deserted. Since 1994 Russia has renewed its cosmic programs at Baikonur. At present Russia has an agreement with Kazakhstan of exploitation of Baikonur for 20 years with the future extension of the agreement. Owing to the Russia cosmic programs the city and the cosmodrome keep living developing. Nowadays Baikonur is an island of Russia on the huge territory of Kazakhstan. Only research and national economic launches take place in Baikonur now. All the military launches are done from Plesetsk launching site near Moscow.
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan - Pictures
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