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MOSCOW, July 17 (Itar-Tass) — Gagarin’s Start, a launch site at the Baikonur cosmodrome named after Yuri Gagarin, who made the first ever manned spaceflight, will be closed for major overhaul in 2014, the head of the federal space agency Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, told reporters on Tuesday.
In October 2012 cosmonauts will fly into orbit from the 31st launch pad that had not been used since 1980s.
“According to our plans, the first launch site (Gagarin’s Start) will be closed for major overhaul beginning from 2014,” he said.
Popovkin explained that Gagarin’s Start should be thoroughly repaired and modernized following the plans for certification of a Soyuz 2.1A carrier rocket for the manned launch.