Far-future research dialogue by Philips Design
The 'final' destination of our trip; Baikonour / Cosmodrome. The place where Russia launched the Sputnik satellite (the very first satellite) into low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957. After that, on April 12 1961, they facilitated the launch of the first human in space; Yuri Gagarin. A relatively young town, built during the 50's, it somehow resembles some of the same aspects we could imagine in the city of Pripyat: Optimism and a strong believe in the atomic future. In the context of the trip it feels like the perfect ending; seeing how 'we' messed up in Chernobyl and watching the consequences of bad irrigation and pollution in Aralsk to finally come to the conclusion that there is only one way out... It was also nice to see the amount of space monuments that were placed in the city as a reference to the short and specific history of the place.
After a short tour around the city, we visited the International Space School in Baikonour, where the Director explained the methodology of the school and gave us the opportunity to launch some small 'student' rockets.
The next day we left for another pleasant 33 hours trainride to Astana, where we visited the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. A building by British architect Norman Foster... which can be best described as a Pyramid...