Exploration with Google Earth
2014 Aug 21
Thursday, Day 233
Explore Baikonur Using Google Earth
The links on this page can be used with Google Earth to look around the Baikonur cosmodrome. The only essential is that you have the Google Earth Application installed on your PC.
If you do not have Google Earth installed then you can get it here.
The Baikonur Cosmodrome
Over the years, the Baikonur cosmodrome has grown and spread. Below are some of the highlights of the operational cosmodrome today. Click the link and it will fire up Google Earth (as long as it is installed on your PC). It will then fly you to the landmark.
NOTE - a kml file will be downloaded to your PC in the process and will appear in your Windows "Downloads" directory:
Launch Complex 1
The original launch pad built by Korolyov for the R-7 rocket and used later for Luna 1 and the first Vostok. Recent notable use was to launch Soyuz TMA-21, named in honour of Yuri Gagarin, as the 50th anniversary of his flight approached.
Launch Complex 31
The second R-7 pad used over the years when scheduling pressures affected the availability of LC-1.
Launch Complex 81
One of the two Proton launch areas.
Launch Complex 200
The second Proton launch area.
Launch Complex 45
One of two pads for the Zenit rocket, a version of which is now operated commercially as Land Launch. The second pad can be seen to the south as a ruin by scrolling the Google Earth view.
Launch Complex 110
Two pads were originally built for the N-1 moon rocket in the 1960s. The complex was later modified and supported the two launches of the Energiya rocket that took place in the 1990s. One of the missions carried Buran into orbit.
Built to serve Buran on its return from orbit. Large payloads and rocket components are currently delivered here by Antonov-224 aircraft in the same way Shuttle components were brought in.
It was here the only spaceflight-worthy Buran was stored. It was destroyed when the roof collapsed in 2002. The ruins can be seen alongside the neighbouring building bay which is intact.
Layout of the Cosmodrome
To see how the locations relate to each other, there is a map of Baikonur and a description of the cosmodrome here.
Other locations for 'tours' will be added as this section is developed.
Copyright © Robert Christy, all rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited