7 largest spaceports world
March 4, 1997, the first space launch from the new Russian cosmodrome "Free". He became the twentieth applicable at the time the spaceport in the world. Now, the construction of the launch pad spaceport "East", the input of which is planned for 2018. Thus, Russia will have 5 spaceports - more than China's, but less than the United States.
Today we tell about the world's largest space platforms.
Baikonur (Russia, Kazakhstan)
The oldest and the largest and still is the "Baikonur", opened in the steppes of Kazakhstan in 1957. An area of 6717 sq. km. In the best - 60 years - it was made up to 40 launches per year. And act 11 launch complexes. Over the entire period of the launch site, more than 1,300 launches have been made from it.
In this parameter, "Baikonur" is the leader in the world today. Annually run into space in an average of two dozen missiles. Legally spaceport with all its infrastructure and a vast territory belongs to Kazakhstan. And Russia rents it for $ 115 million. Per year. The contract for the rental is due to finish in 2050.
However, even before the majority of Russian startups should be transferred to the now under construction in the Amur region spaceport "East".
Air Force Base in Cape Canaveral (USA)
There in Florida since 1949. Originally based on the military aircraft were tested, and later launches of ballistic missiles. As a testing ground for the use of space launches from 1957. Not stopping the military trials in 1957 of the launch sites provided by NASA's disposal.
Here started the first American satellite, went away in the first flight of American astronauts - Alan Shepard and Virgil Grissom (suborbital flight on a ballistic trajectory) and John Glenn (orbital flight). After that manned space flight program has moved to the newly rebuilt Space Center, which in 1963 awarded the Kennedy name after the president's death. From this moment the base was used to launch unmanned ships that brought the astronauts in orbit must be shipped, and send automatic research stations on other planets and the solar system.
Also from Cape Canaveral launch and launch satellites - both civilian and military. Due to the variety of problems solved on the basis of here 28 launch pads were built. Currently operating are 4. Two more are maintained in anticipation of the start of production of modern shuttles Boeing X-37, which should "send retired" rocket "Delta", "Atlas" and "Titan".
Space Center. Kennedy (USA)
in Florida was established in 1962. Area - 557 square meters. km. Number of employees - 14 thousand people.. Complex completely owns NASA. It is from here started all manned spacecraft, starting with a flight in May 1962, the fourth astronaut Scott Carpenter. Here the program "Apollo" was implemented, topped the landing on the moon. Hence we flew back and forth all the American ships reusable - shuttles.
Now all the pads are in standby mode, the new technique. The last launch took place in 2011. However, the Center continues to work hard and the ISS mission control, and the development of new space programs.
Kourou (France, the European Space Agency)
It is located in French Guiana - French overseas department located in the northeast of South America. Size - about 1200 sq. km. Kourou spaceport was opened by the French Space Agency in 1968. By a small distance from the equator hence can run spaceships with significant fuel economy as a missile "pushes" large linear Earth rotation rate near a zero parallel. In 1975, the French invited the European Space Agency (ESA) to use the Kourou for the implementation of their programs. As a result, now the maintenance and development of the cosmodrome France releases the third of the necessary funds, the rest lies with the ESA. At the same time ESA is the owner of three of the four launchers.
From here go into space European components of the ISS and satellites. Of the missiles are dominated produced entirely in Toulouse euromissiles "Ariane". In total more than 60 start-ups have been made. At the same time five times from the Baikonur launched our "union" with commercial satellites.
China owns four spaceport. Two of them decide to only military objectives, producing a ballistic missile tests, the launch of spy satellites, testing equipment interception of foreign space objects. The two have a dual purpose, providing not only the implementation of the militaristic programs, but also the peaceful development of outer space.
The largest and oldest of them - the Jiuquan spaceport. It operates since 1958. It occupies an area of 2,800 sq. km.
The first time it Soviet specialists trained Chinese "brothers forever" tricks of the military space "craft." In 1960 here the first rocket was launched a short-range - Soviet. Shortly successfully launched a rocket in China, in the creation of which was also attended by Soviet specialists. Once there was a break of friendly relations between the two countries, the activities of the cosmodrome stalled.
Only in 1970 from the Baikonur first Chinese satellite was successfully launched. After 10 years, it launched the first intercontinental ballistic missile. At the end of the century went into space first spaceship landing without pilot. In 2003, she appeared first in orbit taykvonavt. Now there are 4 of the Baikonur launch pads 7. 2 of them are reserved exclusively for the needs of the Ministry of Defense. Every year from the Baikonur Jiuquan starts 5-6 missiles.
Tanegashima Space Center (Japan)
It was founded in 1969. Managed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Located on the southeast coast of the island tanegashima, in the south of Kagoshima Prefecture.
The first primitive satellite was launched into orbit in 1970. Since then, Japan, owning strong technology platform in the field of electronics, greatly succeeded in establishing how effective orbiting satellites and geleotsentricheskih research stations.
At the Baikonur two pads are reserved for sub-orbital launches of geophysical devices serve two heavy rocket H-IIA and H-IIB. It is these missiles delivered to the ISS scientific equipment and the necessary equipment. Produced annually up to 5 starts.
Sea Launch "Odyssey" (International)
This unique floating cosmodrome, which is based on the platform of the ocean, was enacted in 1999. Due to the fact that the platform is based on the zero-parallel, it starts with the most favorable energy by using the maximum linear velocity of the earth at the equator. Activities of "The Odyssey" controls the consortium, which includes Boeing, RSC "Energia", Ukrainian "Southern", Ukrainian Software "Pivdenmash" producing missile "Zenit", and the Norwegian shipbuilder Aker Kværner.
"Odyssey" consists of two sea vessels - with a launcher platform and the ship, playing the role of the Mission Control Center.
Launch pad was formerly a Japanese oil platform, which is renovated and refurbished. Its dimensions are: length 133 m, width 67 m and height 60 m, the displacement of 46 tonnes.. Rocket "Zenith", which are used to launch commercial satellites belong to the middle class. They are able to place in orbit for more than 6 tons of payload.
During the existence of floating cosmodrome on it produced about 40 launches.
All the other
In addition to these launch sites there are 17. All of them are considered to be valid.
Some of them survived the "former glory", much to slow activity, if not frozen. Some serve only military and space sector. There are those that are developing intensively and, very likely, will become since the "legislators space fashion".
Here is a list of countries that have launch sites and their number, including those listed in this article
USA - 6;
Russia - 4;
China - 4;
Japan - 2;
Brazil - 1;
Israel - 1;
India - 1;
Iran - 1;
North Korea - 1;
Republic of Korea - 1;
France - 1.