How the creation of Baikonur changed the history of astronautics and; why was it built in; desert

Magazine; All about space

Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kaz. Baikoңyr - rich valley) is the first and largest cosmodrome in the world. Located on the territory of Kazakhstan, in the Kyzylorda region between the city of Kazalinsk and the village of Dzhusaly, near the village of Toretam. Covers an area of ​​6717 km².

For a number of years, Baikonur has maintained a leading position in the world in terms of the number of launches: in particular, in 2015, 18 launch vehicles were launched from here in a year (the second place is occupied by the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome (USA) with 17 launches in year, in the third - the Guiana Space Center (the spaceport of the European Space Agency in French Guiana) with 12 launches per year).

It was built and used as the main and largest cosmodrome of the USSR, until its collapse, after which the cosmodrome from the union property was transferred to the jurisdiction of the newly independent Republic of Kazakhstan. The city of Baikonur and the Baikonur cosmodrome together form the Baikonur complex, leased by Russia from Kazakhstan until 2050. The operation of the cosmodrome costs about 5 billion rubles a year (the cost of renting the Baikonur complex is 115 million dollars - about 7.4 billion rubles a year; Russia spends about 1.5 billion rubles a year on maintaining the facilities of the cosmodrome), which is 4 , 2% of the total budget of Roscosmos for 2012. In addition, from the federal budget of Russia to the budget of the city of Baikonur, a gratuitous receipt in the amount of 1.16 billion rubles is annually carried out (as of 2012). In total, the cosmodrome and the city cost the Russian budget 6.16 billion rubles a year.



The R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile, developed to deliver a hydrogen bomb and later used as a prototype for creating launch vehicles for manned space flights, required the creation of a new testing ground for its testing (previously, Soviet missiles were tested at more northern range Kapustin Yar in the Astrakhan region).

In 1954, a commission was working to select a site for the construction of the landfill, which was guided by the following criteria:

  • a vast, sparsely populated area, the land of which was little used in agricultural production (there was a need to alienate large areas of land in the areas of the fall of the rocket stages, the flight route should not pass over large settlements); <
  • availability of a railway line for the delivery of various cargoes to the landfill, including missile blocks;
  • reliable sources of fresh water to provide the landfill with drinking and process water in large volumes;
  • the distance between the launch of the rocket and the place where its warhead crashed (the Kura test site in Kamchatka) is at least 7000 km.

Several options for the possible deployment of the test site were considered: the Mari Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, Dagestan (the western coast of the Caspian Sea), the Astrakhan region (near the city of Kharabali) and the Kyzyl-Orda region. There was another important factor: the first modifications of the R-7 rocket were equipped with a radio control system. For its operation, it was necessary to have three ground points for the delivery of radio commands: two symmetrical on both sides of the launch site at a distance of 150-250 km, the third - 300-500 km away from the start along the flight path. This factor ultimately became decisive: the Kyzyl-Orda region was chosen, since in the Mari version the radio control points would be in impenetrable forests and swamps, in the Dagestan one - in the hard-to-reach mountainous terrain, in the Astrakhan one - one of the points would have to be located in the water area of ​​the Caspian seas.

Thus, a desert in Kazakhstan, east of the Aral Sea, near one of the largest rivers in Central Asia, the Syr Darya and the Moscow-Tashkent railway, was chosen for the landfill. The site also benefits from more than three hundred sunny days a year and its relative proximity to the equator as a launch site. The linear speed of rotation of the Earth at the latitude of Baikonur is 316 m/s, at the latitude of Plesetsk - 212 m/s.

On February 12, 1955, the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR, by joint resolution No. 292-181ss, approved the creation of the Research Testing Range No. 5 of the USSR Ministry of Defense (NIIP No. 5 of the USSR Ministry of Defense), intended for testing missile technology.

A significant area of ​​the desert was allocated for the deployment of the landfill (a reconnaissance group of topographers and geologists worked here in 1954) in the middle between the two regional centers of the Kyzyl-Orda region of Kazakhstan - Kazalinsky and Dzhusaly, near the Tyuratam junction of the Central Asian railway. The area of ​​the formation of the test site in the first half of 1955 had the code name "Taiga".

Major General G.M.Shubnikov, a builder, was appointed as the construction manager. The first detachment of military builders arrived at the Tyura-Tam station on January 12, 1955.

Magazine; All about space

On February 12, 1955, the Soviet authorities signed a permit for the construction of the world's first cosmodrome Baikonur. It was from here that the first artificial Earth satellite was launched and Yuri Gagarin flew into space. What events are associated with Baikonur, why it was built in the desert of Kazakhstan - in the material altapress. u.

Baikonur: where is it located and how was the site chosen for the construction of the landfill

Initially, several territories were considered for the construction of the cosmodrome, but the desert in Kazakhstan turned out to be the most suitable.

  • The area was little used in agriculture, there were no large settlements nearby (when the rockets were launched, the fall of the steps was inevitable).
  • There should be water sources nearby, which in large volumes could provide the cosmodrome, and a railway along which missile blocks can be delivered.
  • The cosmodrome was supposed to be close to the equator: from the point of view of ballistics, if you launch into space from the equator in an easterly direction, the rocket immediately gets a speed of 465 meters per second and spends less fuel, writes RIA Novosti.
  • In addition, the first modifications of the R-7 missile were equipped with a radio control system. To launch it, you need to have three ground points for sending radio commands at a certain distance, writes the wiki. This factor was decisive in the choice of the site.

The Baikonur Cosmodrome was built quickly: work began in May 1955 and four months later they began to mount the launch equipment. To create the complex, it was necessary to raise about a million cubic meters of soil and lay over thirty thousand cubic meters of concrete, writes galspace. pb. u. At the end of 1956, the construction of the priority facilities of Baikonur was completed, and missile systems were prepared for testing.

A failed launch from Baikonur, a manned space flight and a major catastrophe: what the cosmodrome is known for

First steps and achievements

Thanks to the Baikonur cosmodrome, the USSR has become a leader in the development of space science and space exploration, leaving the United States behind. It was from Baikonur that the flights that the whole world knows about were made. However, they did not come to success immediately.

The first launch from Baikonur on May 15, 1957 failed. Due to an explosion on one of its side blocks of an intercontinental ballistic missile R-7 and a fire in the tail compartment at the 98th second of the flight, an emergency shutdown of the engines occurred and, having flown 400 km, the rocket fell to Earth, writes TASS.

The beginning of the space era is considered to be from October 4, 1957, when the world's first artificial Earth satellite was launched from Baikonur.

On August 19, 1960, the Sputnik-5 spacecraft was launched with the dogs Belka and Strelka on board. This successful flight inspired scientists to send humans into space.

And on April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin flew into space from Baikonur. The cosmonaut not only realized the dream of mankind, but also performed a heroic deed. In those years, spacecraft control systems were just beginning to develop, the accuracy of instrument readings in space was not fully studied, so there was a risk both for technology and the human body, writes spacegid. om. However, everything went well, and the flight of Vostok into space became the embodiment of modernization for the country, RIA Novosti notes.

Later, a native of the Altai Territory, cosmonaut German Titov, who spent more than a day in space, flew from here. In 1963, a rocket was launched from Baikonur with the first woman-cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. In 1973, the crew of the Soyuz-12 spacecraft, which successfully launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome, was headed by cosmonaut Vasily Lazarev (born in Altai).

The magazine All about space, includes news of space, astronautics, astronomy and technology, scientific and informative articles on space, documentaries, media and much more interesting

Baikonur Cosmodrome is the first and also the largest cosmodrome on the planet. It is located in Kazakhstan near the Tyuratam village and covers an area of ​​6717 km².

It was from Baikonur in 1957 that the R-7 rocket was launched with the 1st artificial Earth satellite, and 4 years later the first man in history, Yuri Gagarin, was successfully sent into space from here. In subsequent years, the N-1 lunar rockets and the Zarya module were launched from this site, from which the construction of the International Space Station (ISS) began.

Creation of a cosmodrome

In 1954, a special commission was organized to select a suitable site for the construction of a military and space training ground. The following year, the Communist Party approved a decree on the creation of a test site for the flight testing of the 1st Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile "R-7" in the desert of Kazakhstan.

This area met a number of criteria necessary for the development of a large-scale project, including the sparse population of the region, sources of drinking water and availability of rail links.

The famous designer of rocket and space systems Sergey Korolev also supported the construction of the cosmodrome in this place. He motivated his decision by the fact that the closer the take-off site is to the equator, the easier it will be to use the rotation speed of our planet.

The Baikonur Cosmodrome was founded on June 2, 1955. Month after month, the desert area turned into a huge technical complex with a developed infrastructure.

In parallel with this, a city for testers was being rebuilt in the immediate vicinity of the site. As a result, the landfill and the village were nicknamed "Zarya".

Launch History

The first launch from Baikonur was made on May 15, 1957, but it ended in failure due to the explosion of one of the rocket blocks. After about 3 months, the scientists still managed to successfully launch the R-7 rocket, which delivered the conventional ammunition to the specified destination.

In the same year, on October 4, the PS-1 artificial earth satellite was successfully launched. This event marked the beginning of the space age. "PS-1" was in orbit for 3 months, having managed to circumnavigate our planet 1440 times! It is curious that his radio transmitters worked for 2 weeks after the start.

After 4 years, another historic event took place that shocked the whole world. On April 12, 1961, the Vostok spacecraft was successfully launched from the cosmodrome, with Yuri Gagarin on board.

An interesting fact is that it was then that the top-secret military training ground was first named Baikonur, which literally means "rich valley" in Kazakh.

The second of June is the birthday of the Baikonur cosmodrome and the day of the city, which can be safely called the gateway to space.

Many pretentious and solemn words have been written about Baikonur, and he deserves all of them. However, for many people, this is not only a spaceport and a chapter in history, but also a small homeland for which they have simple and tender feelings. They talked about their love for this place and how they got connected with it.

"I lived in a hostel with one of Gagarin's friends"

Teacher Bakhitzhan Shungulbaev is an orphan. After the orphanage, he immediately joined the army, then graduated from a music school and was sent to work at a secret facility, which at that time was not even called Baikonur, but "Kyzylorda-50".

The young Soviet specialist did not get excited about this distribution.

“At first I didn't like Baikonyr,” says Bakhitzhan Shungulbaev. - All around there are military men, the town is closed, our music school №1 is at the Officers' House. And there are only officers and their wives around. I also lived in a hostel with a military man, one of Gagarin's friends. Gradually Baikonyr was rebuilt and revived, becoming a real space haven. I got used to local life, and now I can’t imagine any other fate ”.

Baikonyr became his destiny: here he taught music to children for 55 years, here he conducted television programs - "From kyuya to symphony", "Song culture of the Kazakh people", "Strings of centuries".

Bakhitzhan Shungulbaev is also known in the city as an experienced tuner of musical instruments.

“Once I was asked to tune the piano in the hotel where the cosmonauts live,” he said. - Austrian cosmonaut Franz Fieböck wanted to play before the flight. At the hotel, the first thing I did was examined and interviewed by a doctor. And only then I was allowed to work. I tuned the piano and sat down to check how it sounded. I play and see people gathering around. They listen and smile. Good music makes people happy. "

"I have never regretted that I settled here"

Kartkozha Tyshkambaev, like Bakhitzhan Shungulbaev, also hardly remembers his parents, he was raised by his older brother.

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