Former nuclear space technology test site

Former nuclear space technology test site

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Former nuclear space technology test site. Soviet installation used in experiments on space technologies at the Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS), Kazakhstan. Nuclear tests were conducted here by the Soviet Union from 1949 to 1989, with the site closing in 1991. As well as nuclear testing, classified research was carried out here on nuclear-powered spaceships similar to that carried out as Project Orion in the USA. This example of a ground-based space technology is described as 'a vacuum channel to withdraw the energy of a nuclear blast'. Photographed in 2001.

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