Latest Baikonur Stories

2007-10-21 09:45:00

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan -- In this remote and rusting town on the barren steppes of Central Asia, the space race and the Sputnik era seem much more than a memory. Rockets still pierce the heavens in a halo of smoke during launches, and engineers and military men still crack open bottles of vodka to celebrate a successful launch. What has changed are the passengers. Nowadays Baikonur embraces the world, from wealthy space tourists to the world's first Malaysian cosmonaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor,...

2006-07-26 16:36:38

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian Dnepr rocket carrying satellites crashed shortly after take-off late on Wednesday from the Kazakh launch pad of Baikonur, Russian media reported. RIA Novosti said the first and second stages of the rocket failed to separate correctly after 86 seconds of flight, causing the Dnepr -- a converted intercontinental missile -- to crash. "No harm was caused to the villages in the surrounding areas," Yuri Nosenko, deputy head of Russia's space agency, told...

2006-06-17 20:15:00

By Maria Golovnina BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan -- The former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan launched its first communications satellite into orbit on Sunday, joining the club of world space powers. Russian President Vladimir Putin joined Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to witness the launch of the unmanned, Russian-built KazSat 1 as the sun rose over the barren steppe surrounding the Baikonur Cosmodrome in western Kazakhstan. The $65 million satellite is part of Nazarbayev's wider...

2006-03-29 04:40:00

By Michael Steen BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan -- Brazil's first cosmonaut said on Wednesday he planned to take his national soccer team's shirt into space to bring them luck in this June's World Cup when he blasts off in a Russian spacecraft. Marcos Pontes, a 43-year-old Brazilian Air Force pilot, is due to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Soyuz TMA spacecraft on Thursday from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. "To commemorate the six times champions of the world that...

2005-06-02 17:27:47

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan -- Born in Cold War secrecy and the scene of Soviet space triumph and tragedy, the Baikonur cosmodrome marked its 50th anniversary Thursday, hailed by the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan as a technological workhorse on the wind-swept steppes of Central Asia. Baikonur launched the first satellite and the first man into space, and is now home to the Soyuz rockets that service the international space station, shuttling crucial deliveries, along with Russian cosmonauts...

2005-04-15 13:00:00

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) -- A Russian rocket blasted off from the steppes of Central Asia at dawn Friday, catapulting three astronauts in a crowded capsule on a two-day journey to the International Space Station. The rising sun turned the capsule's smoky trail shades of pink, purple and orange as the Soyuz-FG rocket lifted off from Russia's base at the Baikonur Cosmodrome with a Russian, American and Italian crew. They will be welcoming Discovery to the station next month when NASA revives...

2004-11-25 15:00:07

Excerpt from report by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS Moscow, 25 November: The launch of Foton and Bion scientific satellites will be moved from Plesetsk to Baykonur cosmodrome. This is linked to the creation of the Angara space missile system at the northern cosmodrome [Plesetsk]. Today at Plesetsk an ITAR-TASS correspondent was told that "specialists from the Samara-based Progress design bureau have already begun dismantling the technical ground equipment used to prepare Foton and Bion...

Word of the Day
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.