Baikonur

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Baikonur
Baiqoñyr/Байқоныр (Kazakh)
Байконур (Russian)
Leninsk
Ленинск (Russian)
An aerial view of Baikonur
An aerial view of Baikonur
Official seal of Baikonur
Baikonur is located in Kazakhstan
Baikonur
Baikonur
Location in Kazakhstan
Baikonur is located in Asia
Baikonur
Baikonur
Baikonur (Asia)
Coordinates: 45°37′0″N 63°19′0″E / 45.61667°N 63.31667°E / 45.61667; 63.31667Coordinates: 45°37′0″N 63°19′0″E / 45.61667°N 63.31667°E / 45.61667; 63.31667
Country Kazakhstan
 Russia (administered)
Founded1955
Incorporated (city)1966
Government
 • TypeBusygin Konstantin Dmitrievich
Area
 • Total57 km2 (22 sq mi)
Elevation
100 m (300 ft)
Population
 (2020)[1]
 • Total39,341
 • Density690/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+5[2]
Postal code
710501
Area code+7 73622
Vehicle registrationN, 11 (Kazakhstan), 94 (Russia)
ClimateBWk
Websitewww.baikonuradm.ru Edit this at Wikidata

Baikonur (Kazakh: Байқоңыр, Baiqoñyr; Russian: Байконур, romanizedBaykonur), formerly known as Leninsk, is a city of republic significance[citation needed] in Kazakhstan on the northern bank of the Syr Darya river, rented and administered by the Russian Federation as an enclave. It was constructed to service the Baikonur Cosmodrome and was officially renamed Baikonur by Russian president Boris Yeltsin on December 20, 1995. During the Soviet period, it was sometimes referred to as Zvezdograd (Звездоград), Russian for Star City.[3]

The rented area is an ellipse measuring 90 kilometres (56 mi) east to west by 85 km (53 mi) north to south, with the cosmodrome situated at the area's centre.

Foreign visitors need pre-approval from the Russian authorities to visit both the town of Baikonur itself and the Cosmodrome. Foreign visitors need to obtain a written approval which is completely separate from having a regular Russian visa.

History[edit]

Historical affiliations

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 1955–1991
Russia Russian Federation 1991–present (administered)

The original Baikonur (Kazakh for "wealthy brown", i.e. "fertile land with many herbs") is a mining town 320 kilometres northeast of the present location, near Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan's Karagandy Region. Starting with Vostok 1 in April 1961, the launch site was given this name to cause confusion and keep the location secret. (The original Baikonur's residents took advantage of the confusion by ordering and receiving many scarce materials before government officials discovered the deception.)[4] Baikonur's railway station predates the base and retains the old name of Tyuratam. This was the original Soviet railway station (railhead) on the Moscow to Tashkent Railway that the Cosmodrome was initially named after.

The fortunes of the city have varied according to those of the Soviet or Russian space program and its Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Due to the city's military and scientific significance, it was closed off by Soviet authorities. It did not appear on maps available to the general public during the Soviet period prior to perestroika.

The Soviet government established the Nauchno-Issledovatel'skii Ispytatel'nyi Poligon N.5 (NIIIP-5), or Scientific-Research Test Range N.5 by its decree of 12 February 1955. The U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance plane found and photographed the Tyuratam missile test range (cosmodrome Baikonur) for the first time on 5 August 1957.[citation needed]

The town has unique ties with space, and hence the history of the rocket building and space binds all the sights in the area and the cosmodrome. However, there are only a few exceptions: old locomotive, an Orthodox Church and a new mosque.[5]

Climate[edit]

Baikonur features a cold desert climate (BWk). Summers are hot with July highs averaging slightly over 34 °C (93 °F), while winters are cold, with longer periods of sustained below-freezing temperatures.[6]

Climate data for Baikonur
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −5.6
(21.9)
−4.2
(24.4)
4.2
(39.6)
17.5
(63.5)
26.3
(79.3)
31.9
(89.4)
34.1
(93.4)
31.5
(88.7)
24.9
(76.8)
14
(57)
4.5
(40.1)
−2.2
(28.0)
14.7
(58.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) −9.6
(14.7)
−8.7
(16.3)
−0.6
(30.9)
11.4
(52.5)
19.4
(66.9)
24.8
(76.6)
27.2
(81.0)
24.4
(75.9)
17.9
(64.2)
8.2
(46.8)
0.3
(32.5)
−5.8
(21.6)
9.1
(48.3)
Average low °C (°F) −13.6
(7.5)
−13.2
(8.2)
−5.3
(22.5)
5.3
(41.5)
12.6
(54.7)
17.8
(64.0)
20.3
(68.5)
17.4
(63.3)
10.9
(51.6)
2.5
(36.5)
−3.9
(25.0)
−9.3
(15.3)
3.5
(38.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 12
(0.5)
9
(0.4)
15
(0.6)
17
(0.7)
12
(0.5)
6
(0.2)
5
(0.2)
5
(0.2)
6
(0.2)
14
(0.6)
14
(0.6)
16
(0.6)
131
(5.3)
Source: Climate-data.org[6]

Places of interest[edit]

South of city center, near the Syr Darya River there is a large park with several sports and amusement facilities. Among these is a ferris wheel, which is no longer in use. The park is located at coordinates 45°36′42″N 63°19′06″E / 45.61167°N 63.31833°E / 45.61167; 63.31833.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Численность населения Республики Казахстан по отдельным этносам на начало 2020 года". Комитет по статистике Министерства национальной экономики Республики Казахстан. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  2. ^ On the time change in the city of Baikonur and Kyzylorda region, Administration of the city of Baikonur, 13 December 2018 (in Russian).
  3. ^ Barensky, C.; Lardier, Stefan (2013). The Soyuz launch vehicle the two lives of an engineering triumph. New York: Springer. p. 189. ISBN 978-1461454595.
  4. ^ Siddiqi, Asif A. Challenge To Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974. NASA. p. 284.
  5. ^ "Baikonur". Archived from the original on 2021-04-14. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Climate: Baikonur". Retrieved October 23, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]