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Places in the News

Refugee Crisis

2016 and 2017 have seen a deepening refugee crisis, sparked in part by people fleeing the destruction of the Syrian civil war. Millions of people have fled war-torn regions of Iraq,, Syria, and Somalia for Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, and increasingly flooding into Europe. These have been joined by people from elsewhere in Northern and Central Africa seeking better economic conditions.


Color photograph of modern-day Baikonur Cosmodrome showing a rocket in a gantry (left) and a row of international flags (right)
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Sputnik Launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in 1957

The first artificial satellite was launched on October 4th, 1957, from the Tyuratam launch site, part of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the then Kazakh ASSR. The lauch of Sputnik, a small, 184 pound satellite, ushered in the "Space Age" and the race to put a man in orbit and, eventuallly, the Moon between the Soviet Union and the United States. Baikonur would continue to be the primary launch site for Soviet and later Russian Federation space activities.