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Launch vehicle at Vostochny space center blessed one day prior to liftoff

April 26, 7:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The launch vehicle was blessed by the bishop of Blagoveshchensk and Tynda Lucian
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© Russian Defense Ministry press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. Russian Orthodox bishop of Blagoveshchensk and Tynda, Lucian, on Tuesday blessed the launch vehicle Soyuz-2.1a that is to become the first vehicle to lift off from Russia’s new Vostochny space center on April 27, the press service of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos told TASS.

"The launch vehicle was blessed by the bishop of Blagoveshchensk and Tynda Lucian," a spokesperson said. "The ceremony was held a day before liftoff."

The staff of the newly built space center has taken the tradition of blessing the launch vehicles from the elder partner, the Baikonur space center located in Kazakhstan.

The first launch from Vostochny is to take place at 05:01 Moscow Standard Time on Wednesday, April 27. It is expected to take into orbit the satellites Lomonosov, Aist-2D and SamSat-218.

A decision to build the Vostochny space center was taken in 2007. The first launch was to take place in December 2015 under the initial schedule but it was postponed.

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