Rocketships plummeting to the ground and leaving their remains unburied in a forlorn corner of the world... this photo essay seems like my dream topic for photography. Kazakhstan is the unlikely home to many completed Russian and Soviet space escapades, due to its geographical bearing, and likely its remoteness. They are left where they “land” (read: crash) and picked away at by local farmers and villagers, and for the most part left to rot. There is a lot of concern over the cancer causing elements left to deteriorate along with the rockets themselves, but in typical Russian fashion, no one seems overly motivated to deal with the problem.
The extreme value shift in these expensive machines is riveting; pre take-off, they are multi-million (or billion) dollar investments, guarded carefully by the Russian government and symbols of Russia’s continuing dream to ascend the top of the world ladder in space exploration. Post-mission they are disregarded, steaming heaps of trash that this same government can not even be bothered to come collect from its own neighbors. Its a reminder of the expendability of nearly everything in modern society, and ultimately ironic that these intricate, technically complex beasts are laid to rest near the villages where life is as simple as it has been for hundreds of years. Well, except for the fact that they have to wheel their carts around new road blocks their former government has thrown down from the sky. So, postmodern elements of society exist everywhere, I suppose.