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Russia's new spaceport launch pad to be completed and tested by summer 2015 — official

December 29, 2014, 16:37 UTC+3 URGLEGORSK (Amur region)
The Vostochny spaceport should become operational in 2015 and start sending manned missions in 2018
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Constraction of Vostochny spaceport

Constraction of Vostochny spaceport

© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

URGLEGORSK (Amur region), December 29. /TASS/. The firing pad for the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket at the Vostochny cosmodrome that is currently under construction in the Russian Far East will be completed and will have passed the full test cycle by June 1, 2015, deputy head of the Center for Operation of Space Ground-Based Infrastructure Andrey Okhlopkov said on Monday.

“On June 1 it will be completed with the end of the complex tests,” Okhlopkov told Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin at the cosmodrome.

Head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) Oleg Ostapenko told Rogozin that the firing pad construction workers fell behind the schedule, but the space agency has found a way to shorten the timeline to completion of the project by means of simultaneous with the construction work installation of the maintenance van. “Thus we intend to make up for leeway going 1.5 months ahead of schedule with the installation,” said Ostapenko.

“As for all other aspects of the construction of launch facilities, we are more or less meeting the schedule,” the Roscosmos head said.

He said that the Tyazhmash company in Syzran conducted on December 27 the main test of the launch system - retraction of the mobile service towers.

“As soon as the firing pad concrete ring is completed, we will be ready to start the assembly with the retraction,” Ostapenko said.

Vostochny should become operational in 2015 and start sending manned missions in 2018. The cosmodrome is intended for launching automatic and piloted space missions under national, international and commercial programs. Its construction started in 2012 and the first launch is expected to be carried out in by 2015 on board Soyuz-2 light carrier rockets. By 2018, it will be ready to launch heavy Angara-5A rockets. The cosmodrome will also have infrastructure for future piloted missions. More than 400 social, engineering and transport infrastructure facilities, 115 km of roads and 125 km of railroads will be built at the cosmodrome. Experts say that the commissioning of the cosmodrome will allow Russia to carry out independent and more effective space activities, launch more space vehicles, reduce environmental impact, facilitate economic development of the region, create new jobs in related industries, and make the region more attractive to investors.

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