Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Today Russia celebrates the official “Cosmonautics Day” – space topic is all over screens today and even president Putin went to see new Russian movie about a space exploration. However, there is a page of history of USSR and now Russia which is pretty much sad and shows that the progress of space exploration in Russia doesn’t advance now.
Baikonur is a huge space launching site. It was built and used by USSR but now is left in Kazakhstan. On it’s territory there is a huge hangar where two artefacts of Soviet space legacy remains. They stay here for over twenty years behind the close doors and are covered with thick layer of dust. Russian blogger Ralph went there and now we have the pictures here, let’s see:

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Here is this huge hangar. Top of Soviet space progress. It’s over 130 meter tall. The huge structures on its sides are the gates. A full-rise rocket with a space shuttle mounted on it could slide thru this doors. They are very huge.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

The walls are mega-thick. They built to withhold an explosion wave if a rocket explodes nearby during the launch so that no equipment inside would be damaged.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Those are huge cranes inside – they could lift 400 tons.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Inside there are two Soviet spaceships.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

One of the copies of the famous Buran that actually went to space and also another one called “Burya”.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

You see how much dust here. It was left unattended since early 1990s.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

However in Soviet times this hangar had a system that was maintaining pressure inside higher than outside so no dust could enter in. Doesn’t work for many years now.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

There are tens of hydraulic platforms that were used to raise workers to any height and help them access rocket or ship.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

See those huge doors?

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Want to see how this complex looked before it was all neglect?

Here is the photo:

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Lot of light, no dust, people working on Soviet brand new space thing. Then “boom” and it’s all gone.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

This is one more photo of the place when it was needed.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

And now is all abandoned.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Actually it was forbidden to enter this structure but Ralph and crew went inside.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Because on “Cosmonautics Day” we need to see some real Soviet cosmonautics, aren’t we?

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Also guys went down to the ships.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

And even saw what’s inside. Stay tuned, let’s see those inside:

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

So here is a spaceship upfront.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

They stay on a platform that is sort of a dolly on rails.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Can go here and there on those rails.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ralph probably felt himself like in the Bond movie:

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Inside of top-secret facility where once most advanced Soviet tech was.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

He says the condition of the place is very sad.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

All covered with dust and bird shit.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

A lot of those heat resistant tiles are gone. Do you know, that each of those small tiles of American Shuttle cost $4000?

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Because they are made of special heat resistsant material – they can be placed in 1000 degree heat but won’t become hot.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

This “Burya” ship is a “Buran” successor.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

When Soviet Union collapsed it was 95% finished and almost ready for a flight!

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

What a pity it never took from the ground.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Even now you can see it has full engine installed.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

More photos of “Burya” – or “Blizzard” – engines.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

This is another version of Buran it was called “OK-MT”.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

It has tiles and windows intact.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

A few more photos of a ship and…

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

the guys would go inside!

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Here they are, photos from inside.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ralph says that most of the gadgets were torn off by scrapers for scrape metals.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

What a loss! Many collectors would envy they never got their hands on this – it was just scraped for some pennies.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

More photos of the insides of the ship.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

And couple more photos from outside.

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site

So with this posting the “Cosmonautics Day” might be considered complete. We’ve seen some cool stuff really shown to others and it’s a top Cosmonautics you can imagine. Great thanks to Ralph for his photos, his website is below:

via

9 thoughts on “Ruins of Cosmic Civilization: Fully Intact Abandoned Little Known Soviet Space Shuttles on Baikonur Launch Site”

  1. Kinda shame it ended this way but still better than being burned into dust with astronauts in the atmosphere as it would probably do.. It looks like a space shuttle ordered from aliexpess tho.

  2. The USA Space Shuttle is now considered ”unsafe”. In this post we see a lot of unused and very costly Soviet junk. Both have ended up on the scrapheap of history.

  3. What I don’t understand about all these abandoned places, with all of that steel, can’t it be melted, purposed for something, than to let it set and rust away?

    • It still is cheaper to mine ore and melt it into proper alloy, than transport people and equipment to remote locations only to scrap abandoned equipment, transport everything back, examine what kind of steel it is and re-cast it for your needs.

      E.G. You need Ni-Cr steel because your company wants to make some stainless pots and kettles. But you got tungsten-vanadium-cobalt alloy from scrap. Using this expensive (and difficult to work with) tool steel for common kitchen equipment would be quite an overkill.

  4. @Thefuzz The heat shield design on the Soviet Buran was actually designed better than the American Space Shuttle. there was one automated flight of Buran and it safely Orbited the earth and landed, I wish America and Russia could have worked together on a Shuttle as it would have produced an exceptional space craft.

  5. Indeed, I would be interested to see what sort of a reusable Space Craft could have been designed and built with co operation between experts in Soviet Design Bureaus and American Space Contractors. I would not rule out that sort of co operation today as long as political barriers are not put in place. The problem is the atrophy of technical skills required to produce space shuttle. Neither Russia nor America is building orbiters so the skills to design and make such crafts are lost. What I would say is that the surviving technicians and engineers are likely over their 20 year promise / contract not to disclose their trade secrets. Even if they are not they would be able to explore improved technologies that they wanted to develop but were not able to. Maybe Russia needs to go to the Moon not because it is easy but because it is difficult. And the Moon could be a staging point for a human mission to land on Mars. Maybe Russia could partner with Germany on such a project once Germany is unfettered by the recent exturnalities of its foreign Relations.

  6. Perhaps the Russian Government will take a leadership role in promoting space exploration and co operation in research and development with nations who follow a policy of constructive engagement with Russia.

  7. Such a bold initiative would require the Russian Government to create the money to support such a project and a political statement from a head of State – President Putin. It would shift the profile of Russia from reacting to threats by western powers bent on world hegemony to its pursuit of Space Exploration.

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