The Baikonur Cosmodrome is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. The spaceport is located in the desert steppe of Baikonur, Kazakhstan
It was originally built by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s as the base of operations for its space program. Under the current Russian space program, Baikonur remains a busy spaceport, with numerous commercial, military, and scientific missions being launched annually. All manned Russian spaceflights are launched from Baikonur.
Both Vostok 1, the first manned spacecraft in human history, and Sputnik 1, the world's first orbital spaceflight of any sort, were launched from one of Baikonur's launch pads, now known as Gagarin's Start, after Russian Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
On this day in history : January 12th 1907
Sergei Pavlovich Korolev (Russian: Серге́й Па́влович Королёв) was born on this day in history. Sergei worked as the lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s. He is considered by many as the father of practical astronautics.
Although Korolev trained as an aircraft designer, his greatest strengths proved to be in design integration, organization and strategic planning. Arrested for alleged mismanagement of funds (he spent the money on unsuccessful experiments with rocket devices), he was imprisoned in 1938 for almost six years, including some months in a Kolyma labour camp.
Following his release he became a recognized rocket designer and a key figure in the development of the Soviet Intercontinental ballistic missile program. He was then appointed to lead the Soviet space program and made a Member of Soviet Academy of Sciences, overseeing the early successes of the Sputnik and Vostok projects including the first human Earth orbit mission by Yuri Alexeevich Gagarin on April 12th 1961. Korolev's unexpected death in 1966 interrupted implementation of his plans for a Soviet manned Moon landing before the United States 1969 mission.
- Geo-Historical Text : Wikipedia
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Overlay Source Image: NASA Johnson