Where is the Baikonur Cosmodrome

From the steppe desert to a high-tech launch siteBaikonur, the cosmodrome of hearts

Since it was about secret tests of ICBMs, the military were looking for an area that was as deserted as possible. The height of desolation, so many of the first employees felt, was the area near the Tyuratam railway station.

However, Baikonur was used as the name, apparently to confuse the Western powers. Because the original Baikonur is a mining settlement three hundred kilometers northeast of the cosmodrome.

The monument "The Fisherman" at the entrance of Baikonur (Lorenzen)

The launch site itself is about four times the size of the Saarland. Starting ramps, assembly halls, control centers, observation stations and residential buildings are distributed there - there are often many kilometers between the facilities. The city that arose very close by was called Leninsk until the mid-1990s and was then renamed Baikonur.

People have already launched into space from Baikonur around 150 times. Because of the many shuttle flights, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida has a few more starts.

Over a thousand satellites and space probes have taken off from Baikonur. This puts it in second place in the ranking, behind Plesetsk in Russia, from where numerous reconnaissance satellites flew into space. But no other starting point in the world arouses as much longing as Baikonur.