44

I found this article on the site of the Russian news agency Vesti. Подземный бункер пуска - самое близкое к старту место. Над ним специальные бетонные столбики, так называемые волнорезы, чтобы ударная сила не повредила этот стратегический объект. The underground bunker is the closest place to start. Above it are special concrete columns, so-called ...


24

Those pillars intended to decrease a damage if a launcher falls just on start. The only mention of this I found is in russian language blog post about a travel to Baikonur: Внизу, чуть в стороне, поле, утыканное бетонными столбиками, если ракета падает на старте, пусть лучше разломается на этих столбиках – разрушений при взрыве будет меньше. Below, slightly ...


17

The citation you give is correct, albeit a bit misleading. If a rocket fails so soon after launch that it strikes any of the structure on and around the launch pad, the result is in any case a huge explosion resulting in the complete loss of the vehicle. You can get an impression on how it looks like by the crash tests done by SpaceX in the past years ...


16

Although it is quite difficult to give a definite and documented answer about Russian Space Program and Russian politics in general, I'm trying to express some considerations that could someway answer your question. Considerations against Baikonur's replacement: ISS access: With the end of the Space Shuttle Program, Baikonur is the only launch site which ...


15

The United States launch sites are the most accessible, both in terms of location (near population centers and accessible) and political environment. Kennedy Space Center in particular is welcoming of visitors, and to a lesser extent Wallops, and you can get into Vandenburg occasionally if you ask nicely. As far as other countries, the major centers are ...


15

I believe we haven't found the whole story yet so I'll post as a partial answer for the moment. Looks like we may have found the answer! I'll leave this for anyone interested in some extra information or my rambling speculations. Soyuz MS-09 launched from Baikonur LC-1 Gagarin's Start which is shown below. I've highlighted the flame trench (green), ...


14

Now that @Heopps found the actual function, I can add a few words about how they work. In case of a rocket failure, huge parts of the structure of the rocket may fall down, such as the LOX tank. Upon impact, it will break open and explode. If it already touched the ground, this will create huge shock waves in the soil, possibly damaging the bunker below. The ...


11

I'm not sure if it'd be exciting enough for you, but I visited Tanegashima with a friend in January 2013. It's a bit of a way off the west end of Japan, but not quite as far as Okinawa. They mostly do satellite launches and tracking. (this qualifies it as an orbital launch site for you, yes?) Once you've made the ferry, hydrofoil or plane trip to get there ...


8

It is certainly possible to visit Kennedy Space Center and see a launch. This link gives viewing sites for KSC, Vandenberg, and Wallops as well as a link to information on purchasing tickets for on-site viewing. Unfortunately, since you wish to see a human spaceflight launch, KSC is not going to fit the bill for quite a while.


6

If you were close by it would be very bad to be around, but there is actually very little risk on this because these were dumped so high up. When the rocket broke up it was going moving quickly upward, so when it broke up these components would most likely have turned into aerosols, being dispersed in the atmosphere. I'm a bit fuzzy as to whether the rocket ...


5

Yes. I'll assume we are talking only about crewed vehicles. In terms of the crew capsule, the StarLiner by Boeing, and the Dragon 2 by SpaceX are both being developed but neither has flown yet. Estimates for when these will be available keep being pushed back to 'next year' it seems. In terms of launch vehicle the StarLiner Wiki says: It is to be ...


4

Astro Watch published an article "Russia to Continue Baikonur Use Along with New Vostochny Spaceport" . It says: • Roscosmos have the contractual obligations, they pay the rent for the land allotted for the space infrastructure. The lease agreement expires in 2050. • Another spaceport - Vostochny - is now under construction and its first priority goal is ...


4

Weather is one major reason. In Florida, it basically never stays below freezing for longer than a day. So the water stays water. In Baikanour, it can be quite cold for long periods of time. If you tried a water suppression system in the midst of winter in Baikanour, odds are good you will have to wait for spring to use your launch pad again, as all the ...


3

The references to the name of Baikonur were used to deliberately delude. There was a plywood mock launch pad built in the real town of Baikonur which is hundreds of km away from the actual launch pad. So that's what they were referring to. The village and then the city at actual launch pad had different names at different times, most notable of which is ...


3

It was probably your tour company that cancelled the trip. I was there, along with 16 other people, on a trip through Smithsonian Journeys and the Harvard Alumni Association, although the trip was actually conducted by Mir in Seattle. We toured Star City, then flew down to Baikonur on a chartered Roskosmos flight and saw the launch. Our group was at the ...


3

As most of cosmonauts traditions, this started from Yuri Gagarin (at least the first tree there was planted by him). Source: Traditions and rituals of Russian cosmonauts (BBC Russian, in russian, use google translate) Edit: here is English version of the text, but it does not contain words about the tree planted by Gagarin


2

Images in the question are from the Buran museum. A number of photos can be found in the following blogpost: https://saidpvo.livejournal.com/679478.html Here is a small sample:


2

This IP-1 site at Baikonur cosmodrome https://kik-sssr.ru/IP_1_Turatam_Foto.htm A few examples of other views of the antenna arrays in the question from there:


2

The quad parabola is in the "radio-engineering center" (loose translation) here You can't see it well in that Google image, but it shows up clearly in this image of the same area from Apple Maps: The two trapezoidal antennae are to the south east. Again, hard to see on Google, but visible on the Apple version (which can be zoomed form this). Looking at ...


1

So why do rockets from Baikonur bound for GTO launch to the northeast, rather than due east? A quick look at a map shows that if you aim any further south than Altai you risk dumping your space junk in China and Mongolia. China in particular probably wouldn't like that, so I'm guessing they steer well clear.


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