A trip to Khimki Rock(et) City


Some of my new friends from Moscow took me out urbexing to Khimki, the site of the closest German advance to Moscow in November–December 1941. A memorial marking this in a form of a giant tank trap is located close to an IKEA shopping center. The city is also home to one of the largest shopping malls in Russia.

After World War II, Khimki became home to several Soviet aerospace defense development centers, which became the principal employers for the majority of the city population. This included R&D enterprises which designed surface-to-air missiles for S-75, S-125, S-200, S-300 Soviet air defense systems, engines for intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellite launch vehicles and other types of equipment. For this reason, Khimki was off limits for all foreigners visiting the country.

I’ve always been interested in the old rocket programs and so I was more than happy to get a private tour of the abandoned site NPO Energomash left behind in Khimki. Check out the incredible pictures at Lana Sator’s site over here.

Thanks to Cozmic Underground in Berlin for setting me up with the Moscow Urbex crew.

I googled around a bit and came across the story of one Valentin Glushko, the principal Soviet designer of rocket engines during the Soviet/American Space Race. The site in Khimki is named after him. Interesting guy. More about the new Russian Space Forces on Wikipedia.

Leningrad — Khimki Forest / гр. Ленинград — Химкинский лес

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