The Baikonur Cosmodrome, also called Tyuratam, is the world's first and largest rocket launch base, with an area of about 85 km long by 125 km wide. This cosmodrome has been in operation since the 1950s. Initially it was a base for launching long-range missiles, but with the advent of the Cold War it became the main technological base of the Soviet Union, aimed at conquering space. It was from the Baikonur Cosmodrome that several historical space missions were launched.
A visit to these facilities makes it clear, on the one hand, the incredible appreciation of the Russians for their space traditions, and on the other hand, the terrible abandonment they suffered after the economic crisis that overthrew the Soviet Union in the early 90s. Baikonur today is both a testimony of the past as well as the present, in an environment marked by the grandeur of its achievements and the evident deterioration in each building, old and worn, of this historic complex.
WHY THIS PLACE
If you are craving space exploration and want to visit the place where it all started, there is no other option but to embark on an exciting plane ride from Moscow to an airstrip in the steppes of Kazakhstan (one of the former Soviet republics) , the same one where the Russian space shuttle Buran got off on its only trip. In terms of originality this is certainly one of our most exclusive destinations, providing an ambience with a decadent flavor and totally out of the ordinary.
• Launch Pad 1 is still in use. It was from it that the first artificial satellite, Sputnik-1, was launched in 1957, the orbital flight of the first astronaut in history, Yuri Gagarin, in 1961, and the first Brazilian astronaut, Marcos Cesar Pontes, in 2006, in the mission named Mission Centenary, in reference to the celebration of the hundred years of Santos Dumont's first flight.
• It is also hers that the Soyuz and Progress ships, which supply the International Space Station, continue to be launched.