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Russia can soon dismantle the world's most historic launch plate



  A Soyuz rocket is launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome 2012.
Enlarge / A Soyuz rocket is launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome 2012.

NASA

Page no. 1 in dusty Baikonur, Kazakhstan, is where everything began. In October 1957, an R-7 missile launched the first satellite, Sputnik, into space. Less than four years later, Yuri Gagarin reached circulation from this launch, and the first woman Valentina Tereshkova followed two years later.

Even today, all Russian, American, Canadian, European and Japanese astronauts launch into space from Website no. 1

-which is also known as the Gagarin species-which it has been reconfigured for launches of the Soyuz FG rocket. But soon it will change.

Russia has already moved its Progress cargo launches to the new Soyuz 2 rocket and now, according to reports in that country, it will also move crew launches to the newer rocket. In its most powerful configuration, Soyuz 2.1b has a payload capacity of 8.2 tonnes to ground path versus 6.9 tonnes of Soyuz FG booster.

RIA Novosti reports that the crew of Soyuz MS-13 and Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft, in July and September, will be the last flights in the Soyuz FG vehicle. After this point, Gagarin Start will be phased out as there is no means to upgrade for the launch of the Soyuz 2 rocket.

Currently, the Soyuz 2 rocket starts from another location on Baikonur Cosmodrome, website 31, and two other launch facilities in Russia and Europe's Guyas Space Center in French Guiana. Future crew solutions of Soyuz rocket and spacecraft will take place from location 31 in Baikonur.

Baikonur Cosmodrome is in fact a rather desolate place to start from. The nearest larger town to Baikonur, Tashkent, is more than 800 km away. The term Baikonur means, ironically, "rich land". It was true for the original Baikonur city in Kazakhstan, located hundreds of miles to the north. But when they tried to cheat the Americans during the Cold War, the Soviets built a false launch site at the original Baikonur, building the actual cosmodrome in the desert, near the Syr Darya River, which is sunny 300 days a year. [19659005] Even today, when you reach the launch pad from the crew quarters, which is outside the cosmodrome's perimeter, a wrinkled 20- to 30-minute drive over bad roads is required, despite a desert run. The road to space, at least at least, goes through some of the most forbidden terrain on earth.


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