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Russia’s new Vostochny spaceport to serve 10 launches annually by 2018-19 — official

January 21, 16:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The first liftoff from Vostochny was initially scheduled for December 25, 2015 but then was rescheduled to 2016
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© Igor Ageenko/TASS

MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. The Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East is planned to serve some 10 launches each year, including the commercial ones and under the state federal program, starting in 2018 or 2019, Igor Komarov, the director general of the Russian state corporation Roscomos said on Thursday.

"We have only one launch planned for this year and I believe that by 2018-2019 we will reach the number of 10, including commercial Komarov said.

The construction of the Vostochny space launch center in the Amur region began in 2012. It occupies an area of about 700 sq. km. It is destined to become the first national facility for civilian space launches, ensuring Russia’s full-scale access to outer space and reducing the dependence of the Russian space industry on the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

The first liftoff from Vostochny was initially scheduled for December 25, 2015 but reports said it was rescheduled to 2016.

Last October Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected the construction site of the Vostochny cosmodrome and criticized delays in the schedule of works and weak control over 130 construction firms engaged in the project.

According to Putin, the government commission accepted works worth only 32 billion rubles ($379 million) for the Vostochny cosmodrome construction compared with the spaceport’s total financing at 188 billion rubles ($2.2 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.

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.

This year Russia starts 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 center for the launches of unmanned space vehicles and as part of a manned flight program. The cosmodrome is expected to be fully commissioned in 2020.

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