Kazakhstan has a space launch facility, not just any space launch facility, but the world’s first and largest. Tim Peake will be following in the footsteps of other famous astronauts when his rocket takes off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakh desert. The site, built in the 1950s for the Soviet Union, is where Sputnik 1 took off. The facility is currently leased by the Russians and remains at the centre of its space programme.

About 1,300 miles (2,100 km) southeast of Moscow in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan, the world’s oldest and largest operational space launch facility is still conducting launches. The Baikonur Cosmodrome was originally constructed by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s as the base of operations for its space program.

Source: http://sometimes-interesting.com/2014/05/26/scientific-test-range-no-5-the-baikonur-cosmodrome/, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/kazakhstan/articles/Amazing-things-you-didnt-know-about-Kazakhstan/