Putin visits site of Russia's new launch center

Aug 28, 2010 By NATALIYA VASILYEVA , Associated Press Writer
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, second from left, flanked by Deputy Premier Sergei Ivanov, left, and head of the state-owned construction agency Nikolai Abroskin, second from right, visit the site where a new launch facility, the Cosmodrome Vostochny, will be constructed outside Uglegorsk, some 3,600 miles (5800 kilometers) east of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010. Russia will launch its manned space missions from a new center in the Far East in 2018, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Saturday, as the country seeks greater independence for its space program. (AP Photo/Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

(AP) -- Russia will launch its manned space missions from a new center in the Far East in 2018, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Saturday, as the country seeks greater independence for its space program.

Putin made the comments as he inaugurated the start of construction for the new at the former missile defense base of Vostochny, outside the town of Uglegorsk, 3,600 miles (5,800 kilometers) east of Moscow, and a few hundred miles away from China.

Russia currently uses the Soviet-built Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan for all of its manned missions and other commercial launches as well as a smaller center in northern Russia for military satellite launches.

Russia has a lease on Baikonur until 2050 and has paid around $115 million to Kazakhstan in rent since the agreement in 2004.

Putin stressed the "strategic" need for Moscow to have "an independent access to the space." Although Baikonur is located in a "friendly state," it is still owned by another country, he said.

Russia's prime minister said on state-run Rossiya channel that Vostochny will host all launches of Russian-manned spacecraft beginning in 2018. Launches of first unmanned spacecraft from the new center are expected in 2015.

Putin described the construction as "one of the biggest and ambitious projects of modern Russia" which "gives opportunity to thousands of young professionals to use their talent."

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying that the first stage of the construction will take more than 24 billion rubles ($779 million).

Like Baikonur in Kazakhstan, Russia's Amur Region in the Far East, where the new center is being built, is sparsely populated. New technologies will allow the new to be ten times smaller compared to what Baikonur occupies in the Kazakh steppe, said Russia's space agency chief Anatoly Perminov.

Windfall from oil revenues over the past years have allowed the Kremlin to spend more on Russia's space program, which had suffered in the post-Soviet economic meltdown.

Explore further: Bright points in Sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior

4.6 /5 (5 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Russia launches telecom satellite

Nov 18, 2007

The Russian space agency Sunday launched a telecommunications satellite into orbit from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

Russia leads 2006 space launches

Dec 26, 2006

The Russian Federal Space Agency said the country was the 2006 leader in space launches, accounting for 45 percent of craft sent into space this year.

Recommended for you

Astronauts to reveal sobering data on asteroid impacts

6 hours ago

This Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, three former NASA astronauts will present new evidence that our planet has experienced many more large-scale asteroid impacts over the past decade than previously thought… ...

Rosetta instrument commissioning continues

6 hours ago

We're now in week four of six dedicated to commissioning Rosetta's science instruments after the long hibernation period, with the majority now having completed at least a first initial switch on.

Astronaut salary

7 hours ago

Talk about a high-flying career! Being a government astronaut means you have the chance to go into space and take part in some neat projects—such as going on spacewalks, moving robotic arms and doing science ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Apr 16, 2014

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Hubble image: A cross-section of the universe

An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...