Deep in the arid land of southern Kazakhstan lies the Baikonur Cosmodrome, a massive spaceport that’s been used since the Space Race of the Cold War and continues to be one of the world’s largest space launch facilities.
A gang of pleasantly crazy Dutch explorers, known as the YouTube channel Exploring the Unbeaten Path, decided to creep into this facility and check out its lesser-known corners. Remarkably, after three solid days of travel, they arrived to find an abandoned hangar at the spaceport (although the base is still active) with a Soviet-era space shuttle laying around half-built.
The model of the spaceplane featured in this video is known as a Buran space shuttle, which translates from Russian as “Snowstorm” or “Blizzard“. Only one of these spaceplanes was ever completed.
The Baikonur has been the scene of some of the most important feats of space history, including the launch of Sputnik 1, Earth’s first artificial satellite in 1957, and Vostok 1, the first human spaceflight carried out by Yuri Gagarin in 1961.
It’s a hell of a place and, as you’ll see, the journey getting there was also pretty incredible too.