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Not Quite “Salvage One”

Here’s a curious story from Baikonur: Metal Scavengers Detained at Russia?s Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan.

A spokesman for the Russian space agency Roskosmos, Vyacheslav Davidenko, has said that in late February interior ministry operatives found two CIS citizens on the territory of the space center. One of them was an Uzbek national. They were searching for pieces of non-ferrous alloys…However, the Kazakh migration police have told the agency that two Afghanis and one Pakistani citizen were detained on the territory of the space center on March 4. They infiltrated the facility in order to gather pieces of non-ferrous alloys. According to the source in the migration police, there were also two Kazakh citizens among the detainees who attempted to gather scrap metal on the territory of the Baikonur space center.

Sounds like a couple of space age can guys, collecting bits and pieces of aluminum and such for recycling cash, right? Well, maybe not:

Experts of the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys said a chemical analysis of pieces of non-ferrous alloys found at Baikonur could assist nations seeking to improve their missile technology.

Interesting. Unfortunately, the article leaves off there, with no further detail.

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