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Russia must be one step ahead of other countries in space exploration, says Putin

Five rockets to blast off from Vostochny cosmodrome in 2020, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin told the Russian president

VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, September 6. /TASS/. Russia has always occupied leading positions in space exploration, however, it needs to be one step ahead of other states and build up its competitive potential to maintain and improve its rankings, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a session on the development of Vostochny spaceport’s infrastructure. The president stressed the national importance of the construction works currently carried out at the spaceport.

"As you know, the competition on the international market of space services is rising, the number of countries implementing their own space programs is growing," the president noted. "In order to maintain leading positions, namely in the sphere of piloted programs, Russia needs to steadily develop its competitive advantages, to use the existing scientific, technological and workforce potential in an intelligent manner, and to effectively resolve the issues related to further improvement of its own space infrastructure."

Putin underscored that today more countries are introducing programs on developing up-and-coming missile systems — a sphere where Russia has maintained leading positions despite certain technological and industrial difficulties typical of other space powers.

"In order to not let it go to waste, and to maintain and multiply [our positions], we need to introduce technological solutions of tomorrow and be one step ahead," the Russian leader highlighted.

Commenting on the development of the Russian space industry, the president stated: "The priorities here are: creating a new-generation medium-range launch vehicle. The predicted start of its flight-testing is 2022. It is necessary to launch automated spacecrafts to the Earth orbit, and it serves as a key element in creating a super-heavy launcher. This will be the next stage of our work. We will talk about the new potential range of rocket systems later today in more detail."

The blast-off of Soyuz-5 launcher is set for 2022, after which it will form part of a super-heavy space vehicle.

President's proposal to lower cost of space equipment

Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged state-run space corporation Roscosmos to work on lowering the cost of space equipment while maintaining its quality and reliability.

"I would like to note the following: during the production of equipment, it is necessary to ensure that it is competitive both from the viewpoint of its technical characteristics and price," he said. "In general, I would like to urge you to optimize the cost of the equipment produced by Roscosmos, and to work on the measures that may lower the cost of space systems and the launches themselves, ensuring full quality and reliability. This is number one priority for our entire space industry," Putin said.

Vostochny spaceport

The Vostochny Cosmodrome and the town of Tsiolkovsky that is being built nearby should contribute to enhancing the Far East’s staff potential, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We will separately dwell on such an important issue as the social infrastructure surrounding the cosmodrome. We repeatedly said that the Vostochny Cosmodrome and the town of Tsiolkovsky should become one of the Far East’s growth points and contribute to enhancing this region’s staff potential," Putin stated.

The president asked the session participants to report on the process of solving housing problems of the cosmodrome’s employees and on attracting new staff.

Earlier, Putin urged the staff of Vostochny spaceport to follow established deadlines for its construction and for the liftoff of super-heavy launch space vehicles from the spaceport, planned for 2028.

The Russian president has spoken in favor of expanding the capacity of Vostochny spaceport. "There have been five launches from Vostochny spaceport. Now, the capacity of Vostochny must be expanded in a more serious manner," Putin told the session.

The Russian leader added that Russian state-run space corporation Roscosmos has the corresponding plans for the next year. He noted that he is going to hear a detailed report on the progress made in the course of construction. "I would like to stress once again: all terrestrial infrastructure that is being built here must meet all modern requirements and standards, ensuring the launch of our advanced missile systems," Putin said.

Schedule of next year's launches

Five rockets will be launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in 2020, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin told Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The schedule of next year’s launches is this: April, May, June, July and November," Rogozin said while demonstrating a corresponding diagram.

Vostochny Cosmodrome is the first Russian civilian spaceport. In April 2016, the first successful blast-off was conducted from the space center, with the delivery of three satellites into orbit. Vostochny will provide for Russia’s full access to outer space and cut its dependence on the spaceport located in Kazakhstan.