Kapustin Yar ( ) is a
Russian rocket launch and development site in Astrakhan Oblast, between Volgograd and Astrakhan. Known today as Znamensk ( ), it was established 13 May 1946 and in the
beginning used technology, material, and scientific support from
launches of test rockets for the Russian military were carried out
at the site, as well as satellite
The 4th Missile Test Range "Kapustin Yar" was established by a
decree of the Soviet
"On Questions of Jet Propelled Weapons
the 13th May 1946. The test range was created under the supervision
of General-lieutenant Vasily Voznyuk (commander in chief of the
test range 1946-1973) in the desert north end of the Astrakhan
region. The first rocket was launched from the site on October 18,
1947; it was one of eleven German A-4s
that had been captured.
The State R&D Test Range No 8 (GNIIP-8, "test range S") was
established at Kapustin Yar in June 1951.
Five atmospheric nuclear tests
power (10-40 kt) were performed over the site in 1957-1961 
With the further growth and development, the site became a cosmodrome
, serving in this function since 1966
(with interruption in 1988-1998). The town of Znamensk was
established to support the scientists working on the facilities,
their families, and supporting personnel. Initially this was a
, not to be found on maps and
inaccessible to outsiders.
Evidence of the importance of Kapustin Yar was obtained by Western
intelligence through debriefing of returning German scientists and
spy flights. The first such flight reportedly took place in
mid-1953 using a high flying Canberra
aircraft of the RAF
. Numerous circumstantial reports suggest
this flight took place, using either a Canberra B2 or a PR3, but
the UK Government has never admitted such a flight took place nor
have any of the supposed participants provided direct
Kapustin Yar is also the site of numerous Soviet-era UFO
sightings and has been called "Russia's Roswell
|Burya Launch Complex
||Kapustin Yar Burya
||Burya. Elaborate complex consisting of horizontal assembly
building, huge circular rail line, and mobile erector/launcher.
Built at the Soviet Vladimirovka flight test facility south of
||Kapustin Yar LC84
||Launch Pads: 1. R-5, RT-15. R-5 Launch complex consisting of 3
||Kapustin Yar LC86
||Launch Pads: 4. Kosmos 11K63, Kosmos 63S1, Kosmos 63S1M, R-31.
Single launch complex consisting of 4 launch pads.
||Kapustin Yar LC107
||Launch Pads: 2. Kosmos 11K65M, Kosmos 65MP, R-14. Single launch
complex consisting of 2 launch pads.
||Kapustin Yar Mayak-1
||Launch Pads: 1. R-12.
||Kapustin Yar Mayak-2
||Launch Pads: 1. Kosmos 63S1, R-12.
|Pioner Launch Complex
||Kapustin Yar Pioner
||Rail-served launch complex.
||Kapustin Yar PL1
||Launch Pads: 1. R-12.
||Kapustin Yar PL87
||Launch Pads: 1. RT-2.
|R-1 Launch Area
||Kapustin Yar R-1
|R-11 Launch Area
||Kapustin Yar R-11
||Naval missile test area.
|R-14 Silo Prototype
||Kapustin Yar R-14
|R-2 Launch Area
||Kapustin Yar R-2
|R-5 Initial Launch Area
||Kapustin Yar R-5
|SM-49 submarine simulator
||Kapustin Yar SM-49
||Launch Pads: 1. R-11FM.
|Sounding rocket launch area
||Kapustin Yar Sounding
|V-2 Launch Area
||Kapustin Yar V-2
||Original site for V-2 launches in 1946. First complex at
|Vertikal Launch Pad
||Kapustin Yar Vertikal
||Launch Pads: 1. Launch site for R-5 scientific launches,
located well east of the primary military launch areas.