back to article Gagarin's Start now Soyuz-FG's End as shutters pulled on historic launchpad

Russia bade farewell to the old "Gagarin's Start" yesterday as the last Soyuz-FG to be launched from the pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan headed to the International Space Station (ISS). Having seen the latest trio of ISS occupants safely off the Earth, "Site 1" will undergo some substantial modernisation ahead of …

  1. Alistair Silver badge

    The really need to be careful over there

    If the Baikonur staff keep fishing around down the back of Putin's sofa, one never knows what they might find. There's some pretty questionable bits down there I'm sure. Videos, wallets, testicles, oil companies and what not.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The days of Gagarin and Apollo are truly over

    Thus ends one of the most exhilarating and bold chapters of the history of our species, bogged down by beancounters and politicians with no balls.

    But everything must end some day, so enter Musk and Bezos and capitalism and corporate profits, which will be the basis of actual space expansion.

    Sad, but inevitable.

    1. James 51 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: The days of Gagarin and Apollo are truly over

      Sad, yes. Inevitable, no. Just too many polictos who are too busy examining a survey taken yesterday to think about tomorrow.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The days of Gagarin and Apollo are truly over

      I thought the Russians decided to close Baikonur because, for some bizarre reason, Kazakhstan wants to remain an independent country.

      1. eldel

        Re: The days of Gagarin and Apollo are truly over

        They do - because the think the Russians are too liberal. Which rather bends the imagination.

    3. chivo243 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: The days of Gagarin and Apollo are truly over

      Seems it's the "Kondo time" for both space pioneering nations.

      https://bgr.com/2019/09/25/nasa-lab-demolition-lunar-receiving-laboratory/https://bgr.com/2019/09/25/nasa-lab-demolition-lunar-receiving-laboratory/

  3. Ian Johnston

    It's a great shame that the Buran project ended. In most ways it was better than the Space Shuttle.

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      In fairness, that wouldn't be hard. From all the documentaries I've seen about the Space Shuttle it seems to have been a pig with lipstick/brick hybrid designed by committee. Which is not to say it wasn't used to do great things, the Hubble repair springs to mind. It was just designed to do everything, which is to say nothing.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Buran was worse, it was built by somebody copying the committee's homework on the bus.

        It had no engines because the shuttle's engine are an amazing piece of engineering and the USSR couldn't build them. But it still was shaped to have engines and sat on the side of the booster where it would need to be if it had engines.

        It took off in the wrong direction and had to do a stressfull aerodynamic roll to point toward orbit, because the shuttle did that. But the shuttle only did it because they were reusing an Apollo era launch platform that was built the other way around

        It's main advantage was that it could be flown to orbit and back remotely, in which case why did you need pilots and so why did you have to design the craft to have pilots seats and windows at the front ?

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