The Baikonur Cosmodrome

Built in the 1950s by the Soviet Union, the Baikonur Cosmodrome is an aerospace launch facility located in the desert steppes of Kazakhstan. The world’s first artificial satellite and first manned spacecraft were launched from there, and the base is still used by the Russian space program. Though the city that sprang up around the facility now shares the name Baikonur, it was originally Tyuratam. Baikonur was a mining town about 200 miles (320 km) away. Why was the base named for a distant town? More… Discuss


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