Russia to build new space center in Far East

Updated: 2011-08-11 16:05


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MOSCOW - Russia is planning to build a 250 billion ruble ($8.5 billion) space center in its Far East, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos told a local newspaper Thursday.

In an interview with the Kommersant daily, Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin said the design process was underway, including ground infrastructure and technical and launch complexes, for the new center, to be located at Vostochny.

He said construction was scheduled to begin this year and end in 2016, with the first rocket launch to take place in 2015 and the first manned flight due in 2018.

Earlier, the Russian government dubbed construction of the Vostochny center as "a new stage in the development of Russian cosmonautics."

Currently, Russia launches spacecraft from two launch sites: Baikonur in Kazakhstan, which has been leased since the end of the Soviet Union, and Plesetsk in northwest Russia.

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