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The signature building that Baikonur Cosmodrome should have.

Launch site of the:

first artificial satellite…

first manned space flight…

first woman in space…

first multiple cosmonaut spacecraft…

Yet for all of the pathfinding missions this installation has seen, the architecture of Baikonur remains functional and dreary. For Soyuz Blue I took the liberty of creating the signature building that the spaceport SHOULD have, given its dramatic history.

This fantasy building is a combination of Russian constructivist Vladimir Tatlin (Monument to the Third International) and Eero Saarinen (who did the soaring Dulles Airport Terminal, and the classic TWA terminal at JFK ) .

My structure has sweeping curtains of glass that twist up into a double helix that towers 26 stories above the Kazakh steppes. The atrium displays notable spacecraft and probes and features a large relief of Sergei Korolev, the chief designer himself. Offices and meeting rooms are scattered through this steel and glass monument to human aspiration and spaceflight.

Careful readers will notice that I have also taken a few liberties with the Cosmonaut Preparation Area, which in real life really DOES sport a persian carpet on the floor (Russian definitions of clean rooms are a bit more liberal than NASAs!). My preparation room also has a Persian rug.  But the Louis XIV paneling and moldings are my invention and a tribute to Astronaut David Bowman’s final hotel stay in 2001 a Space Odyssey.

comonaut prep ceiling

How nerdy do you want to get? Russian space hounds will also notice the diesel locomotive that rolls the soyuz rockets out is not Russian at all, but in fact a West German V200 diesel hydraulic. I chose the V200 because it has great postwar design lines that complement the 1950’s rocket feel of the Soyuz launcher. I also enjoyed putting a free market capitalist locomotive deep in the heart of the old USSR.

V200 locomotives were finally phased out of service in the early 2000s after a very successful run of almost 50 years.

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