Photo: ralphmirebs.livejournal.com/

Russian urban explorer Ralph Mirebs has released photographs of a Soviet Shuttle Grave Yard.

Photo: ralphmirebs.livejournal.com/

He gained access to an abandoned hangar at the Baikonur Cosmodrome - a facility that's still in use, and has actually seen an increase in activity after NASA closed it's space exploration program and astronauts use the Russian Soyuz shuttles to get into space.

Photo: ralphmirebs.livejournal.com/

However, the decrepit hangar that Mirebs found himself in houses a pair of slowly decaying Burans- a shuttle used by the soviets from 1974 to 1993 when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Photo: ralphmirebs.livejournal.com/

No longer in use, the hangar and its contents act as a large, haunting memorial to the Russian space program dating back to the red hot heat of the space race.

Photo: ralphmirebs.livejournal.com/

These facilities were once at the cutting edge of space exploration technology. The hangar was fitted with an advanced system to create artificial high atmospheric pressure to ensure dust and other unwanted particles were kept out of the electronics and mechanics of the shuttle.

Photo: ralphmirebs.livejournal.com/

Now though, the shuttles lie in their own open graves, covered in bird shit, striped of their computer systems by looters, and stripped of dignity by the authorities that were charged with looking after them.

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