Take-off point: the legendary space launch



The word "Baikonur" can be translated from Kazakh as "rich valley". This man-made oasis, who grew up in the middle of the desert, was the cradle of world space. Hence, we have launched the first ever satellite, launched Gagarin here, what to say — most of the significant events of the space age (sorry, the moon did not have time!) Associated with this place. Stillthirdall the world starts from the Baikonur. Now launch site, located on the territory of Kazakhstan, Russia rents for $ 115 million a year. Sometimes this relationship becomes the root of many problems: Kazakhstan recently began to frighten us, that breaks the lease agreement until 2050. In late March of this year, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov visited Baikonur, whereagreedabout the future use of the complex and approved the schedule of launches for the near future.

Kennedy Space Center

Baikonur is located on Merritt Island in Florida. Since 1968, all launches of U.S. astronauts made from here. Here is a vertical assembly building, in which, as the name implies, collect spacecraft before launch. Height of the building — 160 meters. A key historical date for the launch site — July 16, 1969. On this day, the Center launched a spacecraft "Apollo-11", the crew of which four days later landed on the lunar surface. For 30 years, from 1981 to 2011, from the Kennedy Center was made 135 runs shuttles (133 successful and unsuccessful 2). Baikonur is constantly exposed to the aggressive action of nature: hurricanes for Florida — it habitual. The center has the largest number of lightning strikes in the United States.


Kourou — a direct reminder of the imperial past of France. It is located in the north-east of South America, French Guiana (overseas department of France). The place was not chosen by chance: the launch site located at latitude 5 ° 3 ', 500 km north of the equator, making it the most convenient place to launch satellites into geostationary orbit. The fact that during takeoff satellite corrections necessary to conduct its trajectory and ideal location Kuru this adjustment reduces to a minimum. Experts say that Kuru is perhaps the most suitable for space launches geographical position. Even the first launch of Russian rocket "Soyuz-STB" in October 2011producedfrom here.


Chinese space center is located near the city of Xichang in Sichuan Province. Its construction began in the late 1960s by the decision of Mao Zedong. Hence, already in 1973, had to go into space the first Chinese spacecraft "Shuguang-1." But during the Cultural Revolution turned the project. The first launch from the Baikonur there was only a decade later, in January 1984. In April of the same year, hence launched into space the first Chinese geostationary communications satellite DFH-2. For almost thirty years of the launch site produced more than 50 satellite launches. Its features allow you to send anything into space 12 times a year. A Chinese astronauts are called taikonaut.

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