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Urban Explorer Captures a Glimpse of Russia’s Now Abandoned Space Program

Before anything else, you’ll want to know the action of this story happens in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan, in the same launch complex where Sputnik 1, Earth’s first artificial satellite, was launched. The Baikonur Cosmodrome is still the world’s first and largest operation space launch facility, but one of its programs is now abandoned.
Urban Explorer Captures a Glimpse of Russia’s Now Abandoned Space Program 9 photos
Urban Explorer Captures a Glimpse of Russia’s Now Abandoned Space ProgramUrban Explorer Captures a Glimpse of Russia’s Now Abandoned Space ProgramUrban Explorer Captures a Glimpse of Russia’s Now Abandoned Space ProgramUrban Explorer Captures a Glimpse of Russia’s Now Abandoned Space ProgramUrban Explorer Captures a Glimpse of Russia’s Now Abandoned Space ProgramUrban Explorer Captures a Glimpse of Russia’s Now Abandoned Space ProgramUrban Explorer Captures a Glimpse of Russia’s Now Abandoned Space ProgramUrban Explorer Captures a Glimpse of Russia’s Now Abandoned Space Program
Thanks to Russian photographer and urban explorer Ralph Mirebs we are all once again reminded how big the space exploration competition between the US and Russia once was. The pictures show an abandoned hangar at the Baikonur Cosmodrome where one of the prototype shuttles now rests.

This impressive, yet sad spacecraft is the last remnants of a space program that began during the Cold War, in 1974, and was brought to an end in 1993. Named Buran, there was only one operational shuttle, the Orbiter 1K1.

Official records show the spacecraft had completed one unmanned orbital flight before it was grounded. The shuttle was later destroyed in a hangar collapse and what you see here are the remains of a great piece of technology.

If you want, you could look at this puppy as the only SpaceX the Soviets ever had. Sure, Elon Musk’s space program is a lot more advanced, as we are talking about 21st-century technologies. However, Buran remains the only reusable spacecraft to be launched into space.

Looking at the two spacecraft currently sitting in the deposit, you can’t but admit it's a pity that some of the world’s most advanced programs are now left in the dust.

 
 
 
 
 

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