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MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has praised the current rates of construction of Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East.
"The amount of work done over the last year equals to the amount over the previous three years. It means that people can do things when they want to," Rogozin wrote on his Twitter.
Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected the construction site of the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Far East on Wednesday and criticized delays in the schedule of works and weak control over 130 construction firms engaged in the project.
This is Putin’s fourth visit to the cosmodrome, which Russia is building in the Amur Region. Previously, he visited the construction site in 2010, 2013 and 2014. During his latest visit, Putin demanded that Vostochny cosmodrome builders avoid delays in the construction schedule and give the exact timeframe for the first launch of a carrier rocket from the country’s new main civilian space facility.
The first launch of a new Soyuz carrier rocket from the Vostochny cosmodrome was planned for December and Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin in charge of the construction site promised that the launch would take place within the designated term.
However, it is quite real that the construction schedule may be delayed by several months. The Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) needs to carry out tests of the carrier rocket within the shortest time possible, which is problematic over ongoing work to build the assembly and testing facility at the commodrome.
President Putin demanded on Wednesday that the first launches from the Vostochny cosmodrome should be ready by the spring of 2016.
According to Putin, the government commission accepted works worth only 32 billion rubles ($0.5 billion) for the Vostochny cosmodrome construction compared with the spaceport’s total financing at 188 billion rubles ($3 billion). Work still has to be carried out to streamline the ventilation, water, heat supply and fire-extinguishing systems and complete construction and finishing works.
In general, the Vostochny cosmodrome construction scope is impressive, Putin said after inspecting the launch facility. Overall, builders have to build more than 400 facilities, including 120 structures of the technical and launch compounds, 11 aerodrome facilities with a take-off and landing strip 4,500 meters long and automobile and railway roads with a total length of over 170 km.
The Lomonosov and Aist satellites will be the first to be launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome with the help of Soyuz-2 carrier rockets to transmit scientific experimental data to the Earth.
In 2016, Russia will start building launch and technical facilities for the new Angara carrier rocket as the second stage of the Vostochny cosmodrome construction.