In the Army Now 11 August 2017 6 176
Opened in 1957, Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome has been in operation for 60 years. Unlike Baikanur in Kazakhstan, the Plesetsk site is on Russian territory. Its use has increased since the end of the Soviet Union despite still only launching unmanned rockets.
The neighbouring town of Mirny is a high security area requiring a permit to gain entry. Anna and Pavel are fortunate enough to be granted permission. They are even allowed to visit the rocket assembly hangar – but not before they learn the health and safety rules! While Pavel studiously reads a memo, Anna takes a more hands-on approach and joins the spaceport fire brigade. She takes part in a drill, learning to change into a firefighter’s uniform in just 20 seconds and extinguish fires using a hose and a water cannon.
When they are primed and ready, Anna and Pavel enter the hangar to help prepare the rocket for launch. Here, they find out what's special about the hangar floor as well as the purpose of the rocket they are working on.
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