VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME /Amur region/, March 21. /TASS/. The first day of comprehensive tests at Russia’s new Vostochny cosmodrome in the Amur region (Far East of Russia) the first launch form which is to be carried out in April, passed normally, Director General of the Roscosmos State Space Corporation Igor Komarov told reporters on Monday.
"It’s a very important moment for us today. Comprehensive tests of the launch complex, a ‘dry rollout’ of the Soyuz-2.1a space rocket have begun. The first day passed normally. The staff of all enterprises worked fine", Komarov said.
The so-called "dry rollout" is a set of checks and tests on the spaceport’s launch pad when the launch vehicle is not fueled. These works are carried out to check the launch methods and systems.
The construction of the Vostochny space launch center in the Amur region began in 2012. The total area of the cosmodrome will reach 700 square km. It is destined to become the first national facility for civilian space launches, ensuring Russia’s full-scale access to 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 late December last year but was rescheduled for 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.