On June 2, 1955, a directive of the General Staff of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR approved the project for the construction of the Scientific Testing Ground No. 5. This day is considered the date of the official foundation of the first and largest Baikonur cosmodrome in the world.
Baikonur was built as a test range for the first intercontinental ballistic missile R-7. The first ballistic missile was test-fired from Baikonur on May 15, 1957. The testing range was transformed into a spaceport on October 4, 1957, when the first satellite was put into orbit.
Several historic flights originated there: that of the first artificial satellite (1957), the first crewed orbital flight (carrying Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space; 1961), and the flight of the first woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova; 1963), the first flight to carry two people (Voskhod 1, 1964) and the first crewed launch to a space station (Soyuz 11, 1971).
Photo credit: Roscosmos