Russian photographer documents the remains of the Soviet space shuttle programme


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Ralph Mirebs is one of the so-called Urban Exploration photographers – i.e. photographers who explore ruins and derelict buildings. During one of his last photographic forays he visited the Baikonur Cosmodrome – close to the city of the same name in Kazakhstan – from where Soviet and, since the end of the Soviet Union, Russian space missions have been taking off since 1957. In one of the run-down hangars he discovered the remains of the Buran Programme, the Soviet version of the Space-Shuttle programme. One of the two Buran space shuttles that he found in the hangar was fully equipped and ready to use. The other was a life-sized model which had allegedly been used for docking and loading simulations. It really is a pity that these space shuttles have been rotting away there for more than twenty years instead of being displayed somewhere where they can be admired by hobby historians, technology lovers and other guests hungry for knowledge.

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© Ralph Mirebs

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© Ralph Mirebs

You can find more photos and information (albeit in Russian) on Mirebs’ blog.

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