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MOSCOW, December 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the construction of the Vostochny spaceport will start running according to schedule by yearend.
The issue was raised by First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Industry under the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament Vladimir Gutenev. He drew the attention to the underfunding of the federal space program in the period from 2006 through 2015, which reached 12.5 billion rubles.
"Recalculation of the cost of the Vostochny spaceport found that the facility needed an extra 11.1 billion rubles. "Isn't this underfunding threatening the Vostochny construction deadline and implementation of the presidential decree?" Gutenev asked Rogozin at the Government Hour question and answer session.
"We did have problems," Rogozin acknowledged. "We began to fail the deadlines for the construction of the key facilities, such as the launch pad for the Soyuz-2 booster, in August. These works should be completed by the end of 2014, in order to be able to carry out the first launch by 2015. We're now ten days behind schedule, and this lag will be fully eliminated by the New Year; we're monitoring it."
"Vostochny's funding is envisioned in the draft federal budget for 2014. We'll announce these figures at the State Duma next year. Together with Roskosmos, we decided to only allocate the funds necessary for design documents to build the first and second phase," the deputy prime minister went on. "The second phase is the construction of the launch pad for the Angara heavy booster, to be used in a manned flight in 2018."
Rogozin told lawmakers that the leadership of the Roskosmos aerospace company had been fired for failing the Vostochny spaceport construction deadlines.
"The Vostochny spaceport for us is the only guaranteed opportunity for unhindered access to outer space and solution of all civil and defense tasks. There can be no failures to meet the time constraints here," he said.