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MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. Two Soyuz carrier rockets for launches from the new Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East will be manufactured in the second half of the next year, Progress Rocket and Space Center Head Alexander Kirilin told TASS on Saturday.
"One of them - Soyuz-2.1a is designed for launching Kanopus spacecraft. The other - Soyuz-2.1b is meant for launching Meter spacecraft. The construction of both carrier rockets is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2017," he said.
The dates of delivering the carrier rockets to the spaceport and the launch are to be announced later.
Russia launched its first rocket from the new Vostochny spaceport in the Far Eastern Amur region on April 28. The cosmodrome 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 Kazakhstan’s Baikonur space center.
The head of Russia’s Roscosmos, Igor Komarov, said earlier the space corporation plans to launch Kanopus-series satellites and a Meteor spacecraft from the new Vostochny spaceport in 2017. Roscosmos expects to carry out between six and eight launches from the Vostochny spaceport starting from 2018.