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MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. The Plesetsk space center, in northern Russia, is expected to become the main venue for the launches of Russian military satellites, a spokesman for the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces said on Tuesday.
“In prospect, Plesetsk should become the main venue for the launch of most spacecraft, primarily in the interests of the country’s defense and security,” Aleksey Zolotukhin told TASS.
The Plesetsk space center, located in the country’s Arkhangelsk Region, currently uses light and medium-class carrier rockets: Soyuz-2.1 v, Rokot, Kosmos-3M, Soyuz-2.1 a and Soyuz-2.1 b.
Russia currently uses the Baikonur space center in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan as the main launch site. Over the past 50 years, more than 1,500 spacecraft have been launched from Baikonur, the world’s first and the largest cosmodrome.
Russia annually pays some $115 million for the lease of Baikonur.
The country also has cosmodromes of Kapustin Yar, in southern Russia, Yasny, in Orenburg Region, and Vostochny, which is currently under construction in the Far East’s Amur Region and is set to be launched next year.
The Plesetsk space center, some 180 kilometers (112 miles) from Arkhangelsk, was originally developed as an ICBM site. Since 1968, the cosmodrome has been involved in international space programs.
Until 1990s, some 40% of the world’s space launches were conducted from the Plesetsk space center. The cosmodrome facilities allow in future carrying out launches of heavy-class Angara rockets.