For years I have published in this blog many blogs of explorations, but the one that I bring today is one of the most impressive. It was published last year and is set in Kazakhstan.
In this former Soviet republic, located in Central Asia, is located the Baikonur cosmodrome, the first of the space bases created by the USSR and still active, under Russian control. It is a huge base, which contains some facilities now in disuse. One of those abandoned buildings is the MZK, a large hangar located at coordinates 45.94046° N 63.31841° E. You can see it in this Google Maps window:
Inside this hangar there are two real gems of the Soviet space race: the shuttles of the Buran programme OK-1K2 (nicknamed unofficially as “Ptichka”) and OK-4M. Two of the 14 apparatuses that the space program consisted of, with which the Soviets tried to compete with NASA’s successful space shuttles.
Only one of the Soviet shuttles, the OK-1K1 Buran, first of its kind and destroyed during the collapse of the MIK-112 hangar in Baikonur on May 12, 2002, was completed. The Ptichka was also kept in that hangar. It was not completed – its construction began in 1988 and was abandoned when 97% of the shuttle was completed – and was transferred to the MZK after that disaster. In turn, the OK-4M was built in 1983 as a testing platform for the Buran programme.
On July 6 last year, the group of urban explorers Exploring the Unbeaten Path posted on Youtube a formidable video sneaking clandestinely into the Baikonur cosmodrome and entering the MZK hangar:
The video shows the group of explorers avoiding the surveillance of the base. Once in the hangar they managed to enter one of the shuttles, from which they show us their interior in the video. In addition, they had a small drone with the capacity to record video and they made it fly inside the hangar, achieving spectacular images.
(Photos: Bob Thissen)
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