Breaking Into a Russian Military Base to See an Abandoned Soviet Space Shuttle Was Worth the Risk

By Rhett Jones on at

Because any trip to see a Soviet shuttle is worth it as long as no one’s wearing handcuffs at the end.

A group of YouTubers going by the name Exploring the Unbeaten Path travelled to the middle of nowhere to get a look at some space shuttles from the suspended Soviet-era Buran programme. Located at the Baikonur Cosmodrome spaceport in Kazakhstan, the hanger that the group would have to infiltrate is abandoned but the base is still active.

The world’s first and largest space launch facility, Baikonur is leased by the Russian government and all crewed Russian missions still launch from there. Commercial and military missions are also staged at the spaceport, and soldiers patrol the area.

Although the explorers have numerous scares, they manage to get into the facility and spend a lot of time. They brought back tonnes of footage of the shuttles on the inside and out, even managing to fly a drone through the enormous hanger.

These shuttles are an important piece of space history and it would be great to see them get better treatment. The Buran programme was Russia’s reusable spacecraft plan that was hobbled by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Only one unmanned mission flew during the programme and the orbiter was later crushed in a hanger collapse. The programme was indefinitely suspended in 1993 and one test vehicle in great condition resides at the Technik Museum Speyer.

Take a glimpse at this beautiful space that you’d probably never make it into, risk free. [Exploring the Unbeaten Path via Digg]


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