UGLEGORSK, October 23 (Itar-Tass) - Slow progress in the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome causes no serious concern, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) Oleg Ostapenko stated on Wednesday.
“We have all the possibilities to compensate for the lag behind schedule,” he stressed to reporters during a visit to Uglegorsk. According to Ostapenko, the lag in the construction of the launch pad is three months; the same is the lag in building the technical area. Director of the Federal Agency for Special Construction (Spetsstroy) Alexander Volosov said the reason for this was rain.
The Roskosmos head on Wednesday arrived in Amur Oblast in order to assess the progress of the Vostochny cosmodrome construction. A closed-door meeting in Uglegorsk was to consider how to make up for lost time.
Oleg Ostapenko also told reporters that after the construction of the Vostochny spaceport, Russia would continue to use the Baikonur cosmodrome. He said that the new cosmodrome’s possibilities would y also be used “to prevent the asteroid problem.” The Russian Space Agency head also noted that Vostochny would be the most environmentally friendly spaceport. Vostochny is intended to replace Baikonur in Kazakhstan as Russia’s main launch facility, although in April RF President Vladimir Putin stressed Russia’s continued commitment to Baikonur. According to Roskosmos, Vostochny will host 45% of Russia’s space launches and all its manned flights from 2020, while Baikonur’s share will fall from 65% to 11%, with the remainder going to Plesetsk in Russia’s far north.
The construction of Russia’s new cosmodrome Vostochny in the Far East has been underway since 2012. The first launch of a carrier rocket from this site is planned for 2015.