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VOSTOCHNY SPACEPORT /Amur Region/, April 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Russia’s Roscosmos space corporation and the builders of the Far Eastern Vostochny spaceport on the successful launch of the first carrier rocket on Thursday.
"I would like to congratulate you. You have what to be proud of. Yesterday, the automatics somewhat overplayed. The rocket could have been launched yesterday but the automatics overreacted and halted the blastoff. It is a normal thing," Putin, who watched the launch, said.
"The most important thing is that the spaceport is working," he said, adding that a lot of work is yet to be done to prepare for the launch of a heavy rocket. "But this is obviously a very serious, significant step in the development of Russian space science," Putin stressed.
The Russian president arrived at the Vostochny observation deck some 15 minutes before the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket at 5:01 a.m. Moscow time (02:01GMT) on Thursday. Putin met with the builders who took part in the construction of the cosmodrome.
"We will look at the results of your work. I think there will be no problems with the infrastructure and the rocket system as well, but we will see," the president said. After the launch was successfully carried out and the first stage of the rocket separated, Roscosmos head Igor Komarov told Putin: "The infrastructure on the ground worked as normal."
According to the president, the fact that automatic control systems aborted the first launch of the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket on April 27 was a safety measure that confirmed the high quality of the whole system.
"The automatic control system reinsured yesterday, decided to hold preparations one more time. It did not make it worse, on the contrary, everything was done qualitatively, at the highest level. In fact, if you know, they say that you need to eat the pudding to confirm its quality. So, in order to confirm the cosmodrome’s readiness for work, the first launch should be made. You have done this, congratulations," Putin said addressing constructors and employees of the Roscosmos space agency.
He reminded that the presidential decree on the construction of the Vostochny spaceport was signed in 2007. "This is the first part of enormous work. Everything that needed to be done has been done at the highest level," Putin said.
Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov also congratulated Roscosmos with the successful launch. The president later put his signature on the builders’ hard hats according to tradition.