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Russia’s Vostochny spaceport to be ready for first launch April 20 — deputy premier

April 19, 12:05 UTC+3
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© Marina Lystseva/TASS

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Vostochny cosmodrome in the Far Eastern Amur region will be ready for the first rocket launch as early as April 20, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday.

"I wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be ready to launch our space rocket (from the cosmodrome)," he said at a congress of the Russian Engineering Union.

Previously, Rogozin reported to President Vladimir Putin that all facilities of Russia’s new Vostochny spaceport were technically ready for the first launch. Rogozin told reporters on April 12 that he reported to the Russian president that all the essential launch facilities were technically ready. The deputy prime minister said that the state commission made a decision to schedule the first launch from the Vostochny spaceport for 05:01 am, Moscow time, on April 27.

The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket will be blasted off on April 27 to orbit the Aist-2D and Mikhailo Lomonosov satellite, as well as the SamSat-218 nanosatellite.

The construction of the Vostochny space launch center in the Amur region began in 2012. It occupies an area of about 700 square 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 was later rescheduled to 2016.

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