Photos: To infinity and beyond from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome

Baikonur Cosmodrome, the world's oldest space launch facility has seen some of the most historic launches in history, from Sputnik 1 to Yuri Gagarin's geo-orbit and the first succesful ICBM test. India too has made use of this facility to send Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian into space. Images taken around dusk show the launch process at Baikonur in new light.

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2017 11:44 AM IST 8 Photos
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Originally commissioned by the USSR in 1995, Scientific Research Test Range No. 5 which later came to be known as the Baikonur Cosmodrome is the world’s oldest launch facility for spacecraft and ICBM missile testing. The site of several historic launch events in the 20th century’s race to space, Baikonur played host to a unique launch less than a fortnight ago which occurred at the cusp of day and night. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

Originally commissioned by the USSR in 1995, Scientific Research Test Range No. 5 which later came to be known as the Baikonur Cosmodrome is the world’s oldest launch facility for spacecraft and ICBM missile testing. The site of several historic launch events in the 20th century’s race to space, Baikonur played host to a unique launch less than a fortnight ago which occurred at the cusp of day and night. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2017 11:44 AM IST
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The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft carrying the crew of Paolo Nespoli of Italy, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Russia and Randy Bresnik of the US blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on July 28, 2017 leaving a cross-shaped pattern from its discarded boosters. Baikonur Cosmodrome is currently on lease to Russia till 2050.

The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft carrying the crew of Paolo Nespoli of Italy, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Russia and Randy Bresnik of the US blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on July 28, 2017 leaving a cross-shaped pattern from its discarded boosters. Baikonur Cosmodrome is currently on lease to Russia till 2050.

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2017 11:44 AM IST
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The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft launched 20 minutes after sunset, with the horizon tinged in various hues. Most launch programmes are generally scheduled in the daytime hours which provide better visibility and aid in communication and logistical support. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft launched 20 minutes after sunset, with the horizon tinged in various hues. Most launch programmes are generally scheduled in the daytime hours which provide better visibility and aid in communication and logistical support. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2017 11:44 AM IST
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ISS crew member Randy Bresnik of the U.S. gestures during his space suit check at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The cosmodrome has played host to landmark blast-offs and tests such as the first operational ICBM, Yuri Gagarin’s historic manned orbital flight of the earth and the launch of Sputnik 1 among others. Nations like India and France have also used the location to send their cosmonauts into space. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

ISS crew member Randy Bresnik of the U.S. gestures during his space suit check at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The cosmodrome has played host to landmark blast-offs and tests such as the first operational ICBM, Yuri Gagarin’s historic manned orbital flight of the earth and the launch of Sputnik 1 among others. Nations like India and France have also used the location to send their cosmonauts into space. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2017 11:44 AM IST
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Capturing images of space launches is a challenging task that is often limited by the lighting and safety conditions on photographers. For a long period after the cosmodrome’s establishment, the USSR deliberately referred to it as Baikonur --an actual mining town 322 kilometers away from the launch site-- in order to conceal the exact location of the rocket complex. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

Capturing images of space launches is a challenging task that is often limited by the lighting and safety conditions on photographers. For a long period after the cosmodrome’s establishment, the USSR deliberately referred to it as Baikonur --an actual mining town 322 kilometers away from the launch site-- in order to conceal the exact location of the rocket complex. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2017 11:44 AM IST
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Following the retirement of its Space Shuttle program, Baikonur Cosmodrome has become the go-to launch site for manned spaceships headed to the International Space Station and employs Russian launch vehicles for this purpose.

Following the retirement of its Space Shuttle program, Baikonur Cosmodrome has become the go-to launch site for manned spaceships headed to the International Space Station and employs Russian launch vehicles for this purpose.

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2017 11:44 AM IST
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The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft seen parting from its liquid fuel boosters which would generally be seen as small dots but the timing of the launch allowed the capturing of this separation in detail along with the contrails along hundreds of kilometres sparking UFO sighting reports on social media. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft seen parting from its liquid fuel boosters which would generally be seen as small dots but the timing of the launch allowed the capturing of this separation in detail along with the contrails along hundreds of kilometres sparking UFO sighting reports on social media. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2017 11:44 AM IST
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The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft leaves a trail of fire and smoke in the moments immediately after the latest launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft leaves a trail of fire and smoke in the moments immediately after the latest launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2017 11:44 AM IST
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