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Deputy PM criticises pace of works at Vostochny spaceport building site

October 23, 2015, 12:54 UTC+3
According to Dmitry Rogozin, the extra time given by the president means that the builders should carefully carry out all the necessary tests and not slow down the pace of construction
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© TASS/Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin harshly criticised on Friday the builders of the Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East for the unacceptably slow pace of the work.

"The president has given us an additional time to complete in a normal, quiet regime, and not in haste, the rocket launch site for both autonomous and flying tests," the deputy prime minister said during a weekly teleconference on the facility construction. "But I have the impression that you have relaxed, colleagues, to my mind. I want to find out what is happening there." "If you have a leeway, it does not mean that you can stop," he said.

Rogozin said that the extra time given by the president means that "the builders should carefully carry out all the necessary tests in accordance with the operating procedure."

The deputy prime minister focused particular attention on connecting the essential launch facilities and indoor premises to the electric power and heating supply, wastewater disposal, water supply and ventilation systems for conducting autonomous tests of the support equipment.

"The activity progress analysis indicates that the tempo of operations to connect the essential launch facilities to the specified networks is unacceptably low, with the exception of the heat supply networks," Rogozin said. He told the responsible officials to give a detailed account of the number of connected premises.

Previously, the Russian president previously allowed the builders to shift the time of the first launches from the Vostochny spaceport to April 2016. According to him, the first rocket from the new cosmodrome may be blasted off by the Cosmonautics Day (April 12, 2016). At the same time, Putin said that the timing is important, but quality is of top priority.

According to Putin, the government commission accepted works worth only 32 billion roubles ($0.5 billion) for the Vostochny cosmodrome construction compared with the spaceport’s total financing at 188 billion roubles ($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 metres 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 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. Plans are afoot to create a heavy-class space and rocket centre for the launches of unmanned space vehicles and as part of a manned flight programme. The cosmodrome is expected to be fully commissioned in 2020.

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