Launches of the Proton Breeze M launch vehicle are conducted from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The Baikonur Cosmodrome is located approximately 2,100 km (1,300 miles) southeast of Moscow.
Founded in 1955, the Baikonur Cosmodrome is one of the Russian Federation's two major space launch complexes. Baikonur is located in the Republic of Kazakhstan approximately 2100 kilometers from Moscow. Baikonur has been the launch site for Soviet, and later Russian, human spaceflight programs, geostationary satellites launches and scientific missions to the moon and planets.
On 2 June 2015, Baikonur celebrated its 60th year anniversary.
Baikonur has been the site of some of the earliest achievements in space:
- 4 October 1957: Sputnik, the first man-made satellite to orbit the Earth, was launched from Baikonur
- 12 April 1961: Yuri Gagarin lifted off from Baikonur to become the first man in space
- 16 June 1963: Flight of the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova
- 20 November 1998: Zarya, the first piece of the International Space Station (ISS), designed and built by Khrunichev launched on Proton
- 12 July 2000: Zvezda, the main component of the Russian section of the ISS is launched on Proton
The Russian government leases the land that the Baikonur Cosmodrome inhabits from the Kazakhstan government. The long-term lease is currently set to expire in 2050.
Baikonur is a large Y-shaped complex, shown below, that extends about 160 kilometers (100 miles) east to west and 88 kilometers (55 miles) north to south. The vehicle processing and launch areas are connected to each other and to the city of Baikonur by 470 km (290 mi) of wide-gauge railroad lines. The rail system is the principal mode of transportation. Rockets are carried from their vehicle assembly buildings to their launch pads horizontally on railcars and erected onto the launch pad.
Two launch pads are available for commercial Proton missions. Launch vehicle and spacecraft time on pad is five days.
The spacecraft is transported to the Baikonur Cosmodrome by air and is offloaded at the on-site Yubileiny Airfield. It is then transported to the state-of-the-art processing facility in Area 92 for testing, fueling, mating to the Breeze M Upper Stage and encapsulation with the payload fairing.
Weather conditions in Baikonur have very few launch restraints, offering additional schedule assurance for customers.