Russia’s New Vostochny Cosmodrome   Leave a comment


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The Vostochny Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport currently under construction on the 51st parallel north in the Amur Oblast, in the Russian Far East. When completed in 2018, it is intended to reduce Russia’s dependency on the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is located in Kazakhstan. The first launch was expected to take place on April 28, 2016 at 02:01 UTC.

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Russian leader Vladimir Putin has made several statements emphasizing the importance of the new cosmodrome. In August 2010, he said “The creation of a new space center … is one of modern Russia’s biggest and most ambitious projects”. In January 2011, he ordered the government to complete the paperwork as soon as possible so that construction can start on schedule.

Construction of the cosmodrome began in January 2011 and, as of 2011, was expected to be completed in 2018.

Vostochny (which means “eastern” in Russian) is be located in the Svobodny and Shimanovsk districts of Amur Oblast in the Russian Far East, on the watershed of the Zeya and Bolshaya Pyora rivers, approximately 600–800 km (370–500 mi) from the Pacific Ocean, depending on launch azimuth. The planned total area is 551.5 km2, being a region approximately 30 km in diameter centred on

The nearby train station is Ledyanaya and the nearest city is Tsiolkovsky. The cosmodrome’s geographic location at 51 degrees north means that, to a given orbit, rockets will be able to carry almost the same amount of payload as they can when launched from Baikonur. Other arguments for choosing this location include the ability to use sparsely populated areas and bodies of water for the rocket launch routes; proximity to major transportation networks such as the Baikal–Amur Mainline, the Chita–Khabarovsk Highway; abundance of electricity production resources in the area; and the presence of the infrastructure of the former Svobodny Cosmodrome, on which the new spaceport will be based.[3] The site’s location in the Russian far eastern region will allow for easier transport of materials to the site, and will allow rockets to jettison their lower stages over the ocean. It was expanded as part of the plan of modernization of the supporting infrastructure. Putin said that among places offered was an area on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, near Vladivostok, but that experts recommended not to locate it there since the closeness to the ocean can create problems and delays in launches, and as a result the current place was chosen.
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However the first scheduled launch for today was scrubbed, and President Putin was not pleased.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged space officials to fix “hitches” after flying thousands of miles to see the first rocket launch from a new cosmodrome, only for it to be delayed.

The Soyuz launch from the Vostochny space port, about 5,500km (3,500 miles) east of Moscow, was called off just minutes before the planned lift-off.

Officials blamed a mechanical failure, and the launch was rescheduled for Thursday.

Mr Putin will stay on until then.

“The fact is there is a large number of hitches,” the president said at a meeting with the country’s top space officials on Wednesday.

“That is bad. There should be an appropriate reaction.”
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The second launch attempt is now expected at 05:01 Moscow time (02:01 GMT) on Thursday.

At the meeting, Mr Putin also stressed that the launch delay was related to the rocket itself – not the cosmodrome.

It was Mr Putin’s personal idea to build a new space port in Russia to avoid any potential political risks of using the old Soviet launch centre at Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

But construction of the vast complex in Russia’s Far East has been hit by delays and dogged by corruption scandals.

Four people have already been arrested.

“If their guilt is proven, they will have to change their warm beds at home for plank-beds in prison,” the president warned.

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Posted April 27, 2016 by markosun in Space

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