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Ralph Mirebs is an urban explorer and a photographer who stumbled upon an abandoned hangar while traveling through the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan.
His curiosity was piqued by the mysterious and rather ominous looking building, and he decided to explore what was inside. What he discovered there is genuinely remarkable.
Amazing Soviet space shuttles discovered in an abandoned hangar
The abandoned hangar in question once formed part of the enormous and very important Soviet space complex. Today, this particular hangar is not in operation, but the Kazakh-controlled Baikonur Cosmodrome which it used to be controlled by is still up and running to this day. It has become such a valuable center of space exploration and new technology that European and American astronauts have launched missions from the region along with their Russian counter-parts.
The abandoned hangar had a very interesting history and played an important role in the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States. It was constructed in 1974 and became the base for the Buran Space Shuttle program. It was in this abandoned hangar that some of the greatest technological minds from the Communist world gathered together to develop new and highly sophisticated space shuttles that were intended to give the Russians and their allies an edge over the capitalist West in the race to space. The project was shuttered just before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1988, but the hangar remained in operation until 1993. Since that year, the building has been abandoned by personnel, and the fascinating laboratory has been left just as it was on the day that they left the facility for the last time.
When Mireles walked inside the now abandoned hangar, he found a veritable time capsule giving him a glimpse into a bygone age of astonishing technological insight and development. While much of the facility has been destroyed by natural erosion, the general layout of the laboratory has been left intact, along with two of the Buran shuttles developed in the heady time of the space race. It is thought that these two shuttles are among the most sophisticated to have ever been produced by the Soviet Union.
It is remarkable that these shuttles have been left to the mercy of Mother Nature instead of being preserved for posterity in one of the former Soviet Union’s many space race museums. Is there a reason why these shuttles have been secreted away in an abandoned space in Kazakhstan? Is there something special about them that the Soviets wanted to keep a secret from the outside world even after the end of the Cold War?
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