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:
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.
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.
Those are huge cranes inside – they could lift 400 tons.
Inside there are two Soviet spaceships.
One of the copies of the famous Buran that actually went to space and also another one called “Burya”.
You see how much dust here. It was left unattended since early 1990s.
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.
There are tens of hydraulic platforms that were used to raise workers to any height and help them access rocket or ship.
See those huge doors?
Want to see how this complex looked before it was all neglect?
Here is the photo:
Lot of light, no dust, people working on Soviet brand new space thing. Then “boom” and it’s all gone.
This is one more photo of the place when it was needed.
And now is all abandoned.
Actually it was forbidden to enter this structure but Ralph and crew went inside.
Because on “Cosmonautics Day” we need to see some real Soviet cosmonautics, aren’t we?
Also guys went down to the ships.
And even saw what’s inside. Stay tuned, let’s see those inside:
So here is a spaceship upfront.
They stay on a platform that is sort of a dolly on rails.
Can go here and there on those rails.
Ralph probably felt himself like in the Bond movie:
Inside of top-secret facility where once most advanced Soviet tech was.
He says the condition of the place is very sad.
All covered with dust and bird shit.
A lot of those heat resistant tiles are gone. Do you know, that each of those small tiles of American Shuttle cost $4000?
Because they are made of special heat resistsant material – they can be placed in 1000 degree heat but won’t become hot.
This “Burya” ship is a “Buran” successor.
When Soviet Union collapsed it was 95% finished and almost ready for a flight!
What a pity it never took from the ground.
Even now you can see it has full engine installed.
More photos of “Burya” – or “Blizzard” – engines.
This is another version of Buran it was called “OK-MT”.
It has tiles and windows intact.
A few more photos of a ship and…
the guys would go inside!
Here they are, photos from inside.
Ralph says that most of the gadgets were torn off by scrapers for scrape metals.
What a loss! Many collectors would envy they never got their hands on this – it was just scraped for some pennies.
More photos of the insides of the ship.
And couple more photos from outside.
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: