The Baikonur Cosmodrome (25 pics)
Baikonur Cosmodrome, also called Tjuratam, is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppes of Kazakhstan, about 200 kilometers (124 mi) east of the Aral Sea, north of the Syr Darya river, near Tjuratam railway station. The facility derives its name from a wider area known as Baikonur and is also traditionally linked with the town of Zhezqazghan. It is leased by the Kazakh government to Russia (currently until 2050) and is managed by the Russian Federal Space Agency.