The Second Life of the Gagarin Start Launch Complex

Gagarin Start launch complex at Baikonur Cosmodrome. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Translated from Russian by Google Translate

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — The place where modern cosmonautics was born is known for sure: it is the legendary “Gagarin Launch”, site No. 1 of the Baikonur cosmodrome. It was here that the launch of the first satellite opened the Space Age of mankind. It was from here that Yuri Gagarin ascended into orbit on April 12, 1961.

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Three Space Anniversaries: Two Triumphant, One Tragic

Yuri Gagarin

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

This week, the space community marked two triumphant achievements, and dutifully ignored a third space-related anniversary that marked the darkest depths of depravity to which human beings can sink.

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Russia Marks 60th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin Flight

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin congratulates all the Russian rocket and space industry and related industries’ employees on Cosmonautics Day!

Russia not only looks back to the past, but also focuses on the future, while being on the verge of important changes in the space industry, Dmitry Rogozin said.

‘Today our industry is not only celebrating the anniversary and remembering the past, we also focus on the future, we are on the verge of very important changes in our industry,’ said Dmitry Rogozin.

Head of Roscosmos stressed that the Russian Federation expects transition to new rocket and space technology, the beginning of lunar research – starting with automatic stations and continued by cosmonaut crews. According to Rogozin, the space industry sees tremendous opportunities for international cooperation, while the technologies demonstrated speak in favor of the fact that ‘many people want to be friends and work with the Russian Federation’.

‘We believe in our space, in Russian space. We believe that the industry is capable of solving all the tasks set by the president and our people,’ Dmitry Rogozin added.

Head of Roscosmos also recalled that the first manned flight into space was completed despite the colossal human and material losses during the Great Patriotic War.

“This indicates that not everything is due to the circumstances, a lot depends on people, their will and professionalism, on their focus on achieving results,’ he concluded.

Roscosmos Officials, Cosmonauts Pay Tribute to Yuri Gagarin on Anniversary of Death

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos State Corporation took part in commemorative events dedicated to the tragic death of the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and test pilot Vladimir Seryogin on March 27, 2021. On behalf of the State Corporation, State Secretary – Deputy General Director for Exercising State Powers Sergey Dubik, representatives of the Roscosmos cosmonaut corps represented by Heroes of Russia, Roscosmos cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Alexander Misurkin, test cosmonaut Mukhtar Aimakhanov and family took part in the laying of flowers at the Kremlin wall in Moscow.

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In Memory of the First Cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Fifty-three years ago, on March 27, 1968, at 10:18 a.m. near the village of Novoselovo, Kirzhachsky District, Vladimir Region, the first cosmonaut of the planet Yuri Gagarin and military pilot Vladimir Seryogin were killed during a training flight on the MiG-15 UTI. At that time, Gagarin was 34 years old, and Seryogin was 45 years old.

Gagarin and Seryogin took off from the Chkalovsky airfield near Moscow in Shchelkovo. At the time of takeoff, visibility conditions were normal – the bottom edge of the clouds was 900 m above the ground. The mission in the aerobatic zone was supposed to take at least 20 minutes, but after four minutes (at 10:30) Gagarin announced the end of the mission, requesting permission to turn around and fly to the base. After that, communication with the aircraft was interrupted.

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Russia Names Next Soyuz Transport After Yuri Gagarin as 60th Anniversary of History Flight Approaches

Yuri Gagarin

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The Soyuz MS-18 manned transport spacecraft, which is currently undergoing prelaunch preparation under the program for the delivery of members of the 65th main expedition to the International Space Station, received its own name Yuri A. Gagarin.

In accordance with the work schedule, the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle with the Soyuz MS-18 manned spacecraft is scheduled for April 9, 2021, three days before the 60th anniversary of the first manned flight into space. According to the established tradition, the space mission closest to this significant date is dedicated to the first cosmonaut of the planet Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin, whose name already adorns the surface of the screen-vacuum thermal insulation of the ship’s household compartment. In addition, the official symbols of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight in space will be placed on the launch vehicle’s nose cone.

The previous launch of the Yuri Gagarin spacecraft of the Soyuz-TMA series, which took place on April 5, 2011, was timed to coincide with the half-century anniversary of the beginning of the practical development of manned astronautics.

Russians Raise $87 Million to Upgrade Baikonur, Save Gagarin Launch Complex

Yuti Gagarin

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), a Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, in partnership with Middle East investors, GK Launch Services company and with the support of Roscosmos State Corporation, announces an investment of $87 million in upgrading the infrastructure of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The relevant documents have been signed today at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The project intends to upgrade Launch Site 1 (Gagarin’s Start) of the Cosmodrome with its following operation for Soyuz-2 rocket launches.

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