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MOSCOW, February 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The creation of the new spaceport Vostochny in the Far East should confirm Russia’s high scientific and technological status, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
“The implementation of this project should confirm the high scientific and technological status of Russia,” Putin said at a meeting of the government presidium on Wednesday, February 22.
In his opinion, the new spaceport should become “yet another strongpoint for the development of our Far East”.
Vostochny should become operational in 2015 and start sending manned missions in 2018.
Putin believes that the new spaceport will give Russia independent access to outer space and will basically act as a double for Baikonur, which Russia currently leases from Kazakhstan.
Vostochny will allow Russia to launch different spacecraft, carry out manned missions and new space exploration programmes.
Putin stressed the need to build supporting infrastructure at the spaceport. “This basically means building a new modern city with an airport, motor and railway roads, housing and social facilities,” he said.
“We should create conditions not only for work but also for comfortable life,” the prime minister said.
From 5,000 to 30,000 specialists will build the Vostochny spaceport in Russia's Far East.
Putin said in earlier that the government had decided to provide 24.7 billion roubles for Vostochny in the next three years.
“The government made the decision to provide 24.7 billion roubles for the following three-year period to start full-scale construction of Vostochny spaceport. The funds will be disbursed in order to create the necessary basis and take the following steps afterwards,” he said.
“I strongly hope that Vostochny will be the first national spaceport used for civilian purposes and that it will guarantee Russia full independence of its space activities,” Putin stressed.
The new spaceport is to ensure the implementation of practically all forward-looking space projects, including manned missions, a new generation of spacecraft and inter-planetary systems. The construction and use of the spaceport will boost the development of the Russian Far East and make it more attractive to investors, the prime minister said.
The Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said it would be a compact, modern and environmentally friendly spaceport and the propellant to be used in the rockets to be launched from Vostochny will not contain any toxic components.