While exploring the world, photographer Ralph Mirebs came across something extremely rare and unexpected, a discovery, unlike anything we’ve ever come across. During a trip to Kazakhstan, the urban explorer stumbled across a massive, abandoned building. What’s inside is out of this world.
At first—looking at the building from afar—you’d expect it to be just another abandoned building, another hangar-like structure in an abandoned place. However, only after managing to enter the facility, the photographer realized that it wasn’t just another abandoned building, but a structure that houses two of the most fascinating historical items on the planet.
So, what did he find?
Check out this batch of images and see for yourself.
As it turns out, the abandoned building is located at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Cosmodrome is located kilometers away and is still in operation today.
This particular hangar is a ‘ghost of the past’, from a time when the Russian’s and Americans were competing in the space race.
From this now-abandoned facility, the spacecraft were transported onto the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome—located in the vicinity. Curiously, European and American Astronauts are sent into space from this location even today.
The incredible structure was created in 1974 to be used by the Buran Space Shuttle program: An area dedicated to the development and design of technology where the most brilliant minds were gathered to come up with spaceships to take mankind into space.
Even though the Buran Shuttle Program was stopped in 1988, the hangar remained operation until 1993, remaining the home to three of the most advanced pieces of technology conceived by human hands.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the facility started deteriorating. Only one shuttle managed to see space, as one unmanned mission was commissioned. Shortly after, the spaceship was grounded and destroyed at a different hanger which collapsed on top of it.
Interestingly, there’s still something to see at the abandoned facility: Two shuttles from the Buran Space program sit inside the hangar as ‘ancient relics’ forgotten and unappreciated for years.
When the facility was operational in the past, it was home to extremely sophisticated technology. The building had access to atmospheric pressure control system which helped keep dust and debris outside of its incredibly thick walls.
Now, decades later nature has retaken what is rightfully hers, as the facilities systems have been offline for decades.
Sadly, the two remaining shuttles are deteriorating every single day, as the ceramic tiles that encompass the spacecraft are peeling off and shattering below them. Dust covers the space shuttles to the point where it’s hard to recognize their majestic purpose.
It seems that its only a matter of time before these two pieces of space-exploration-history are destroyed forever.
The question is, why aren’t such places preserved? Why aren’t the space shuttles being taken care of? And why above all, aren’t these space shuttles in a museum somewhere?
Anyway, enjoy these images!
Images by Ralph Mirebs