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Russia builds new civilian spaceport and seeks international co-operation

Russia will invest US $820 million US Dollars in a new spaceport which is to be operational by 2015. The Vostochny cosmodrome is intended to ease dependence on the Baikonur site and will mostly handle civilian launches. 'Along with the construction, Russian space agency seeks international partners for future missions', announced Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Soyuz rocket preparing to lauunch in Baikonur

Russian government has set aside 25 billion rubles ($ 820m) for the construction of a new spaceport in the country’s far east, Mr Putin announced last Monday. The move is meant to ease dependence on the Baikonur launch site which was established during the soviet era and lies today in Kazakhstan.

The new Vostochny (Eastern) spaceport will be located in Russia's Amur region, some 100 km away from the Chinese border.

The 700 sq km site will contain launch facilities along with residential compounds and laboratories. According to Anatoly Perminov, head of Russia's federal space agency, the site will employ more than 30 000 specialists.

Roscosmos leader also mentioned that the first launches can happen as early as 2015 while manned flights are planned for 2018.

The new spaceport will mostly see civilian missions, stated Mr Putin.

"I very much expect that Vostochny will become the first national cosmodrome for civilian purposes and will guarantee Russia full independence of space activities," he said.

Russian Prime Minister also encouraged more international co-operation mentioning projects on the International Space Station aside with other programs.

"In early 2011, the Russian Soyuz launch vehicle will start operating at the ESA's French Guiana Space Center in Kourou. Later, the Phobos-Grunt Russian interplanetary spacecraft will put a Chinese space probe in orbit around Mars as part of our programs to explore deep space," he stated.

Currently all US manned missions are also dependent on Soyuz rockets.

Mr Putin also said that Moscow plans to invest a record 67 million rubles ($ 2.2bn) in it's national space program this year.

Last Updated (Sunday, 08 August 2010 19:22)

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