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Baiqoŋyr/Байқоныр  (Kazakh)
Байконур  (Russian)
An aerial view of Baikonur
Flag goroda Baikonur.svg
Baikonur seal.png
Kazakhstan adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Kazakhstan
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Red pog.svg
Baikonur (Asia)
Coordinates: 45°37′0″N63°19′0″E / 45.61667°N 63.31667°E / 45.61667; 63.31667 Coordinates: 45°37′0″N63°19′0″E / 45.61667°N 63.31667°E / 45.61667; 63.31667
Country Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia (administered)
Incorporated (city)1966
  Total57 km2 (22 sq mi)
100 m (300 ft)
 (2009) [1]
  Density630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+5 [2]
Postal code
Area code(s) +7 73622
Vehicle registration N, 11 ( Flag of Kazakhstan.svg ), 94 ( Flag of Russia.svg )
Climate BWk
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Baikonur (Kazakh : Байқоңыр, Baiqoŋyr, بايقوڭىر; Russian : Байконур, romanized: Baykonur), formerly known as Leninsk (also, see Tyuratam), is a city of republic significance [ citation needed ] in Kazakhstan on the northern bank of the Syr Darya river, rented and administered by the Russian Federation. It was constructed to service the Baikonur Cosmodrome and was officially renamed Baikonur by Russian president Boris Yeltsin on December 20, 1995. During the Soviet period, it was sometimes referred to as Звездоград (Zvezdograd), Russian for 'Star City'. [3]


In 2009, the population of Baikonur was 36,175 (2009 Census results), [1] while in 1999, it was 28,776 (1999 Census results). [1]

The rented area is an ellipse measuring 90 kilometres (56 mi) east to west by 85 km (53 mi) north to south, with the cosmodrome situated at the area's centre.


The original Baikonur (Kazakh for "wealthy brown", i.e. "fertile land with many herbs") is a mining town 320 kilometres northeast of the present location, near Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan's Karagandy Region. Starting with Vostok 1 in April 1961, the launch site was given this name to cause confusion and keep the location secret. (The original Baikonur's residents took advantage of the confusion by ordering and receiving many scarce materials before government officials discovered the deception.) [4] Baikonur's railway station predates the base and retains the old name of Tyuratam. This was the original Soviet railway station (railhead) on the Moscow to Tashkent Railway that the Cosmodrome was initially named after.

The fortunes of the city have varied according to those of the Soviet or Russian space program and its Baikonur Cosmodrome. Foreign visitors need pre-approval from the Russian authorities to visit both the town of Baikonur itself and the Cosmodrome. Foreign visitors need to obtain a written approval which is completely separate from having a regular Russian Visa.

The Soviet government established the Nauchno-Issledovatel'skii Ispytatel'nyi Poligon N.5 (NIIIP-5), or Scientific-Research Test Range N.5 by its decree of 12 February 1955. The U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance plane found and photographed the Tyuratam missile test range (cosmodrome Baikonur) for the first time on 5 August 1957. See right for a composite satellite image of the early Tyuratam launch complex, the cosmodrome (30 May 1962).[ citation needed ]

Without the specifics of the sights, Baikonur's guide will not be complete. The town has unique ties with space, and hence the history of the rocket building and space binds all the sights in the area and the cosmodrome. However, there are only a few exceptions: old locomotive, an Orthodox Church and a new mosque. [5]


Baikonur features a cold desert climate (BWk). Summers are hot with July highs averaging slightly over 34 °C (93 °F), while winters are cold, with longer periods of sustained below-freezing temperatures. [6]

Climate data for Baikonur
Average high °C (°F)−5.6
Daily mean °C (°F)−9.6
Average low °C (°F)−13.6
Average precipitation mm (inches)12
Source: [6]

Places of interest

South of city center, near the Syr Darya River there is a large park with several sports and amusement facilities. Among these is a ferris wheel, which is no longer in use. The park is located at coordinates 45°36′42″N63°19′06″E / 45.61167°N 63.31833°E / 45.61167; 63.31833 .

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. 1 2 3 "Население Республики Казахстан" (in Russian). Департамент социальной и демографической статистики. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  2. On the time change in the city of Baikonur and Kyzylorda region, Administration of the city of Baikonur, 13 December 2018 (in Russian).
  3. Barensky, C.; Lardier, Stefan (2013). The Soyuz launch vehicle the two lives of an engineering triumph. New York: Springer. p. 189. ISBN   978-1461454595.
  4. Siddiqi, Asif A. Challenge To Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974. NASA. p. 284.
  5. "Baikonur" . Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  6. 1 2 "Climate: Baikonur" . Retrieved October 23, 2018.

Further reading