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Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome celebrates its 60th anniversary

04 june 2015, 12:55
0
Photo courtesy of engineeringrussia.com
Photo courtesy of engineeringrussia.com

Today Kazakhstan’s Baikonur celebrates its 60th anniversary, Tengrinews reports.

 First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev congratulated the local people on the landmark event. “Dear Baikonur residents! Knowing the historical and scientific importance of Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan and Russia have managed to preserve it and continue to work on its further development. With the support of the Presidents of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation, Baikonur cosmodrome is still at the forefront of the world space’s development and it serves as a symbol of technological progress and as a clear evidence of the mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries, " Bakytzhan Sagintayev spoke to the residents of Baikonur city during the ceremony dedicated to the cosmodrome's anniversary.

According to him, one of the most crucial areas of cooperation between the two nations are the project to create Baiterek rocket launching complex at the Kazakh cosmodrome as well as manufacture and launch of Kazakhstan's communications satellites KazSat.

"I am confident that the glory of the Baikonur cosmodrome will only be growing, and the accumulated technological capabilities will allow our countries to continue the ongoing development of the Kazakh-Russian cooperation in space exploration. I congratulate all Baikonur residents and those who cherish Baikonur with this anniversary and I wish you good health, peace on Earth and in space!" Bakytzhan Sagintayev said.

Baikonur is the first and largest cosmodrome in the world. Located in Kazakhstan's desert steppe, about 200 kilometres east of the Aral Sea, north of the Syr Darya river, it is rented out to Russia until 2050.

Baikonur is closer to the Equator than other launching sites – a situation that facilitates geostationary orbit or orbits less inclined to reach the International Space Station (ISS). This privileged geographic placement enables the launch of more significant payloads.

Baikonur is closer to the Equator than other launching sites – a situation that facilitates geostationary orbit or orbits less inclined to reach the International Space Station (ISS). This privileged geographic placement enables the launch of more significant payloads.

Besides, Baikonur is historically very important, because both Vostok 1, the first manned spacecraft in human history with Yuriy Gagarin being the first man to travel to outer space in it, and before it, Sputnik 1, the world's first orbital spaceflight of any sort, were launched from one of Baikonur's launch pads, which is now known as Gagarin's Start, named after Yuriy Gagarin.

It was initially built by the Soviet Union in 1955 as the base of operations for its space program and testing of military rockets. But now, under the current Russian space program, Baikonur serves solely peaceful aims.

“After so many years Baikonur did not lose its relevance, still occupying the leading position among the world’s cosmodromes. Almost one fifth of all the rocket launches every year is made from our Baikonur. More than 2,500 rockets and 1,500 space satellites have been launched from it,” he said.

He recalled that 160 cosmonauts and astronauts from nearly 30 countries journeyed into space from Baikonur. Talgat Aubakirov was the first Kazakh man to fly to space from Baikonur as well in 1991. Another prominent Kazakh cosmonaut Talgat Musabayev traveled to the outer space three times from Baikonur's launch pad and spent a total of 40 hours in space.

"Thanks to the agreements between the Presidents of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation the third Kazakh cosmonaut will fly from Baikonur in the near future,” Bakhytzhan Sagintayev summed up his speech.

By Assel Satubaldina


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