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    • Chris MacAskill

      Have you seen photos of Burans, the abandoned Russian shuttle program? I have some vague recollection that there was something like that, but Polish photographer & filmmaker Arkadiusz Podniesiński has made several trips to the Burans site and my God the images are haunting.

    • Chris MacAskill

      He said getting there isn't for the faint of heart:

      The only way to get to the abandoned hangar is first to walk through the dry and sandy steppe approximately 40 kilometers in a straight line from the nearest public road. And then you have to return.

      I move only at night, far away from any roads, checkpoints and active facilities. It is only in this way that I can pass unnoticed by the police patrols, guards and Baikonur employees. The worst, however, are the dogs that despite the pitch darkness can sense the presence of a person from afar and alert the guards.   

      I think part of what makes these images so haunting is some are lit only by flashlight in that creepy abandoned place:

    • Chris MacAskill

      And the enormity of it all. Can you imagine the planning, design, engineering, and construction that went on here? How many people? Where did they go when they heard the news the project was cancelled?

    • Great thread. I've seen images from that hangar before, but probably not his since that post went up this June. He tells a great story. What strikes me, beyond the always haunting beauty of the abandoned, is the waste.

    • Real life post-apocalypse images. This a one of the coolest things I have read in a long time. These images are astounding. So impressed with the the audacity it took to build these facilities, orbiters and rockets only to leave them abandoned! How many men and women, having worked on this project, live peppered around Russia with the knowledge that the products of their education and careers are rotting on some abandoned tundra? Jesus! Thanks for sharing, Chris

    • Kevin Harrington

      It's incredible how much courage and determination Arkadiusz must have had to make the journey to the abandoned hanger. Although abandoned, it sits on the Baikonur Cosmodrome, first and largest spaceport in the world. Not to mention it's the most active spaceport. All the astronauts, including Americans, launch from this site. The security must be insane. I think Arkadiusz is humble in just stating what he did: at multi day trek across the planes of Kazakhstan to get there without being spotted. The risk must be major prison time. I'm sure there was a possibility of being shot by security. Props to him for getting in and out alive and sharing these wonderful images with the world.

    • Three times, no less. Getting help from locals (there are locals in that remote area?) must surely have been a big plus.

    You've been invited!