BLAGOVESHCHENSK, December 31. /TASS/. The construction workers of the Vostochny cosmordome that is being built in Russia’s Far East have decided to see the New Year in and continue the work without the New Year holidays - they will get down to work on January 2, the press service of the Dalspetsstroy company (under Russia’s Federal Special Construction Agency - Spetsstroy) told TASS on Thursday.
"December 31 is a working day at the construction site, and on January 2 the employees will resume the work. In addition, the duty schedule for the New Year holidays is ready at the cosmodrome that is under construction in the Amur region," the press service said.
More than 4,600 employees and 815 pieces of equipment are currently engaged in the construction of the Vostochny spaceport. The work during the holidays is necessitated by the technological process peculiarity. "The construction site is a living organism, growing and developing regardless of the calendar date", the company said.
Dalspetsstroy said that security measures will be stepped up at Vostochny during the holidays. Deputy heads of branches are on duty at the spaceport facilities during the day and night, emergency response teams are on constant alert. All the workers have been given additional instructions regarding their actions in the event of any emergency.
The Dalspetsstroy press service said that 2015 was a decisive year at the cosmodrome - "a huge breakthrough has been made in the construction and installation work." More than 10,000 construction workers and about 1,000 equipment units were engaged in the spaceport facilities during the "peak periods". About 1,400 students of teams from 27 regions of Russia have worked together with the cosmodrome builders.
"Much has been done, the efforts have been praised by the country’s government, but it is necessary to keep going without stopping even for a day to fulfil all the tasks. A huge amount of work is carried out by the engineering and technical personnel in the preparation of the turnover documentation, which is needed for the commissioning of the facilities", Dalspetsstroy said.
The Vostochny 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).
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on December 17 he hoped the first launches from the Vostochny space center will be held in the first quarter of 2016, but warned that there is no need for excessive hurry. "I hope the first launches will be conducted in the period that we denoted - the first quarter of 2016. But there is no need for excessive hurry. The most important thing is that all should be done with due quality," Putin said at his annual news conference.
He said Vostochny is "the largest project of national significance." "We are creating an entire city," he said. The Russian head of state recalled that there were schedule delays during the construction of the space center, but added that they have been reduced. "Delays were up to 1.5 years. Now we’ve cut them down to 5-6 months," Putin said.
Construction of the Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East started in 2012. The overall area of Vostochny is some 700 square kilometres. It will become the first national civilian-designation space centre and will make it possible to ensure full access of Russia to space and will reduce domestic space science’s dependence on the Baikonur Space Centre Russia leases from Kazakhstan.
The first launch from the new space center was scheduled for December 25, 2015. Later it became known that the launch is delayed until 2016.