Raketten in Kazachstan, fotoreportage

Tuesday 31 May 2005, 21:08:00 | ruimtevaart

"A EurasiaNet Photo Essay by Jonas Bendiksen, Text by Laara Matsen"
(origineel verschenen op EurAsianet) (die site werd op Slashdot gezet en was bijna niet benaderbaar, daarom heb ik de plaatjes gemirrorred op mijn eigen computer)

On April 16, Russia announced that it would henceforth launch military satellites at the Pletsnesk cosmodrome in northern Russia, ending the practice of launching satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This shift will deprive Kazakh children of the chance to watch some satellites take off, though Baikonur will remain the launchpad for commercial "birds" and manned missions. As these photos show, it will also spare Kazakhs the fallout, literal and otherwise, that occurs in a launch's wake.

All space-bound rockets consist largely of fuel tanks and booster stages that fall back to earth when spent, never reaching orbit. In landlocked Baikonur, Russia's primary launching complex in Kazakhstan, these spaceships crash to earth. This photo essay visits the areas where the supporting rockets land, and shows the people living under the flight paths who contend with flaming spaceship wrecks several times each month.

Apart from the fear of having a spaceship crash through their roofs, residents in the area complain of the ill effects of leftover toxic rocket fuel. With the relocation of Russian military launches, more than half of which currently take off from Baikonur, these people may get some relief. However, one group of people is probably sorry to see Baikonur lose business; the region's scrap metal dealers are getting rich trading metal from the rockets' titanium alloy hulls.

Hoe anders moet de wereld zijn waarin die boeren daar leven? Ik bedoel, hier klagen de mensen als ze onder de rook van Schiphol wonen, moet je zien wat er daar in Rusland in je achtertuin kan komen kletteren. De staat laat die dingen daar kennelijk gewoon liggen, en dus moeten de boeren de troep opruimen. Jammer dat ze kennelijk ziek worden van de giftige stoffen die er nog in zitten, en dat er altijd een risico bestaat dat zo'n ding op de dak valt... want ik vind de foto's erg intrigerend, mooi, haast surrealistisch. Kijk maar eens...

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People have replied:

rolf

2005-12-09 15:50:00

beautiful fotos! do you know if i can bey one? an original? thanks rolf

Irmen de Jong

2005-12-09 16:28:00

Sorry Rolf, they are not mine. Perhaps if you contact the author or publisher from the original article on the EurAsia website?

I just copied the images into my weblog because at the time I saw this article the original website was slow as molasses due to Slashdotting or something.

Good luck!