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Thursday, August 30, 2012


I'm reading Starman - The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin, and they're talking about Baikonur, and I realized that this is where our astronauts are catching their rides to the ISS (International Space Station). Baikonur is in Kazakhstan, which isn't even part of the USSR anymore. The Russians lease the place. Desolate does not even begin to describe the landscape. I do a little Googling and I find this U2 photo of a launch pad from 1957 on Wikipedia.

I look the place up on Google Maps, and after a bit of poking around (the place it really big), I find the same launch pad, orientation is different, and there are more buildings, but it's the same place.

View Big Science in a larger map

I do some more Googling and come up with these pictures of the launch site, which give you a slightly different perspective.

And lastly, because I'm such a good guy, some pictures of a rocket. Okay, they aren't all of the very same rocket, just similar models.

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