MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. The tracks of the launch tower of the Soyuz launch pad at the Vostochny spaceport had to be reinstalled due to cavities in concrete, a source in the construction industry told TASS on Thursday.
"The tracks of the launch tower had to be replaced preventatively due to cavities under the Soyuz launch pad. As of now the rails have already been reinstalled," he said.
According to the source, construction workers at the Soyuz launch pad at the Vostochny spaceport are currently drilling boreholes into each cavity that occurred earlier, and pour a special plaster into them.
Russia’s Roscosmos State Space Corporation declined to comment on the information provided by the source.
Cavities at Vostochny
A source in the space industry told TASS earlier that the launch pad for Soyuz-2 rockets at Vostochny needed repairs due to cavities under the launch tower, adding that the facility was inspected in July. Another source told TASS that the cavities were identified more than a year ago.
A source at Vostochny told TASS that the process of concrete laying had been violated due to rush work as the previous contractor (Spetsstroi) laid the concrete in winter time in utterly unsuitable conditions and used drying fans. He added that the cavities continued to be eliminated by the public corporation itself until the contract with Adonis was concluded.
The center for the operation of ground space infrastructures told TASS that faulty concrete was laid under part of the launch facility. The center also blamed the flaw on the contractor, Spetsstroi. Roscosmos is to eliminate all defects by October 5.
Roscosmos told TASS earlier that it keeps the situation at Vostochny under control. The problems that have emerged will be eliminated and by no means interfere with the launch schedule or the spaceport’s routine operation, the corporation said. The cavities under the Soyuz launch pad will cost 4.6 mln rubles ($65,400) to eliminate, according to the government procurement website.
The first launch pad at Vostochny was built in 2012-2016 for the Soyuz-2 rocket. The first launch was carried out on April 28, 2016.