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No military launch facilities to be placed at Russia’s Far Eastern Vostochny spaceport

June 17, 2015, 14:44 UTC+3 KUBINKA (Moscow region)

The first launch from the Vostochny spaceport is planned to be carried out in late 2015

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

KUBINKA (Moscow region), June 17. /TASS/. There are no plans to create military launch facilities at the Vostochny cosmodrome that is currently under construction in the Russian Far East. Military personnel will be attracted only for Defense Ministry’s satellite launches, head of the Mozhaisky Military Space Academy Major General Maxim Penkov told TASS on Wednesday.

"The Vostochny cosmodrome is being built within the framework of programmes of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). No military launch facilities are planned to be placed there," Penkov said at the Army 2015 Forum currently underway in Moscow, when asked whether the Academy graduates will serve at the spaceport.

According to Penkov, "military specialists will be attracted for launching military spacecraft from Vostochny, although the operating personnel will be generally civilian."

"We’ll not train military specialists for the Vostochny cosmodrome," he said.

The first launch from the Vostochny spaceport is planned to be carried out in late 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said previously that the creation of the new spaceport Vostochny in the Far East should confirm Russia’s high scientific and technological status. 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. The comsodrome is intended for launching automatic and piloted space missions under national, international and commercial programmes. Its construction started in 2012. By 2018, it will be ready to launch heavy Angara-5A rockets. The cosmodrome will also have infrastructure for future piloted missions.

The Vostochny cosmodrome is being built near the Uglegorsk town in the Amur region that will soon get the name of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. The complex will include two launch facilities, an aerodrome, cosmonauts’ flight training facilities, an oxygen-nitrogen plant and hydrogen plant, 115 kilometres of automobile roads and 125 kilometres of railways and other facilities. The first rocket to be launched from Vostochny is to be the Soyuz-2.1a, made by the Progress Rocket and Space Centre. The carrier rocket will place into orbit the Samara satellite Aist-2, the SamSat-218 nanosatellite of the Samara State Aerospace University and the Lomonosov satellite of Moscow State University (MGU).

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