The Baikonur Cosmodrome is a spaceport in an area of southern Kazakhstan leased to Russia. The Cosmodrome is the world's first spaceport for orbital and human launches and the largest operational space launch facility. All crewed Russian spaceflights are launched from Baikonur. The spaceport is in the desert steppe of Baikonur, about 200 kilometres east of the Aral Sea and north of the river Syr Darya. It is near the Tyuratam railway station and is about 90 metres above sea level. The spaceport is currently leased by the Kazakh Government to Russian Federation until 2050 and is managed jointly by the Roscosmos and the Russian Aerospace Forces. The shape of the area leased is an ellipse, measuring 90 kilometres east–west by 85 kilometres north–south, with the cosmodrome at the centre. Baikonur Cosmodrome was established on 2 June 1955 by the former Soviet Ministry of Defence. It was originally built as the base of operations for the Soviet space program.