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___ Satellite View of Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kazakh: Байқоңыр ғарыш айлағы)

About Baikonur Cosmodrome complex

Satellite view is showing the Baikonur Cosmodrome complex, the world's oldest and largest operational space launch facility, located about 200 km (125 mi) east of the Aral Sea, on the north bank of the Syr Darya river, near the town of Tyuratam (Tyuratum). The launch complex lies in a semi-arid zone in the Kyzylorda Region in Kazakhstan. Baikonur is leased by the Kazakh government to Russia (currently until 2050) and is managed jointly by the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Russian Space Forces.

SputnIk 1
A replica of Sputnik 1
The first man made satellite to orbit Earth, the Sputnik (Russian for "fellow traveler"), was launched from this place in the evening of 4th October 1957. The satellite traveled in an elliptical low Earth orbit at the speed of about about 29,000 km/h (18,000 mph). The 58 cm (23 in) diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennas transmitted radio pulses for 21 days until the transmitter batteries ran out.

The launch of Sputnik surprised the global public and shattered the perception, fostered by American propaganda, of the United States as the technological superpower and the Soviet Union as a backwater country.

Space Race
The Sputnik was a wake-up call for the US, it was not only the starting-shot for the 'Space Race', but a catch-up race for milspec and space-grade technology, top on the list, long-range rockets and defenses against them, and people who could build them. So, the US started a nationwide education program in September 1958. Also on the list, better calculating machines, rocket trajectory calculations were still done by hand.
In July 1958 the US esablished NASA as the coordinating body of the U.S. space program.

The Race is on
Vostok 1 LogoOn the 12 April 1961 a Vostok 3KA space capsule was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, on board, 27 year old Yuri Gagarin. The Russian Soviet pilot and cosmonaut was at this day the first human to travel into space, his Vostok I spacecraft made its maden voyage and completed one orbit of the Earth. The flight took 108 minutes from launch to landing and made surviving Yuri Gagarin an international celebrity.

all-out race - Yubileyniy Aerodrome-Buran-

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Local Time Baikonur:
Monday-May-20  03:27  
UTC/GMT +6 hours
φ Latitude, λ Longitude (of Map center):
Google Earth: Satellite View of Baikonur Cosmodrome complex
Searchable map/satellite view of the launch facility near the town of Tyuratam, Republic of Kazakhstan.
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External Links:
Russian Federal Space Agency - Roscosmos
Official website of FKA (ФКА), the government agency responsible for the Russian space science program.
Wikipedia: Baikonur Cosmodrome
Current Weather Conditions Baikonur
(Kazalinsk is located about 100 km west of Baikonur.)

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