With modern technology and years of human exploration, it’s easy to think we’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see. But occasionally, people discover incredible treasures that remind us just how much is still waiting out there to be found.

Ralph Mirebs is a Russian photographer who was exploring the area outside Baikonur in Kazakhstan, when he came across a huge abandoned. Fortunately for all of us, he decided to take a peek inside.

As he would later find out, the structure was a relic from the Soviet Union’s space program.

Ralph Mirebs

It was abandoned after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1993.

Ralph Mirebs


The building was designed as a hangar for housing… space shuttles.

Ralph Mirebs

Three space shuttles were constructed here, but only one went on a mission – an unmanned orbit.

Ralph Mirebs

And they had just been left there ever since.

Ralph Mirebs

Since the building was designed to battle the elements, everything inside was relatively well preserved.

Ralph Mirebs

But over 20 years after they were abandoned, the space shuttles may need some work before you try taking off in one.

Ralph Mirebs

The pressure systems that once protected them went into disrepair long ago, and alot of dust and debris have collected since.

Ralph Mirebs

But the size of the place is still impressive, that’s for sure.

Ralph Mirebs

Without the right upkeep, these incredible artifacts of early space exploration would eventually be lost forever.

Ralph Mirebs

It’s somewhat surprising how well preserved the structure is, despite decades of abandonment. 

Ralph Mirebs

Those holes on the nose of the shuttle are actually thrusters.

Ralph Mirebs

They were to be used to make small flight corrections while in space.

Ralph Mirebs

The cockpit might just be the most well preserved.

Ralph Mirebs

Just look at this thing!

Ralph Mirebs

This is pretty cool.

Ralph Mirebs

The hatch and pressure control systems are in decent shape, too.

Ralph Mirebs


And this is what the interior of the fuselage looks like.

Ralph Mirebs

If you enjoyed these photos, there are hundreds more on Ralph Mirebs’s blog.

Ralph Mirebs

It is incredible to think that all of this was sitting untouched for so long. Makes you think what else might be out there waiting to be found.