Go to an old rocket site or astronaut training ground and you feel as if you’ve stepped into the ruins of the future. Across Europe and the States, broken fragments of our bygone space age litter the countryside – half-forgotten relics of a more romantic time. Here we guide you around the 8 most awe-inspiring monuments to our abandoned dreams:
(Images: Robsv, reproduced with permission)
A concrete desert is all that’s left of Launch Complex 19, departure point for the Gemini missions of the 1960’s. Surrounded by miles of empty swamps and everglades, this deactivated space port veers between a sort of peaceful desolation and broken melancholy – a feeling helped along by the giant rusted skeletons of the launch pads proper. The ground is littered with discarded bolts, piping and rubble, while organic matter is few and far between; giving the impression less of quiet decay than the twisted remnants of some catastrophic nuclear mishap. Indeed, a gigantic Titan 1 rocket spectacularly self-destructed on these very pads some fifty years ago – going up in a fireball which shook the whole county and spelled another set-back for America’s fledgling space programme.