Russia to build new cosmodrome on its own soil by 2015November 24th, 2007 - 2:20 pm ICT by admin
London, Nov.24 (ANI): Russia will build a new cosmodrome on its own territory capable of handling human space flight, Russian media reports said.
President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree that clears the way for the construction of the new cosmodrome that will begin hosting launches in 2015.
The launch centre, in Russia’s Far East region of Amur, will be called Vostochny, said, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov.
It would be Russia’s first launch centre for manned missions on its own territory.
Russia has relied on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for its manned space missions, ever since Yuri Gagarin became the first human to go into space in 1961.
Built in the 1950s, Baikonur is one of only three launch pads capable of handling manned missions, along with the Kennedy Space Centre in the US, and the Chinese Jiuquan base.
In 1994, Russia agreed to rent the Baikonur base from Kazakhstan which became an independent state after the collapse of the Soviet Union for an annual fee of 115 million dollars (87 million).
According to the terms of an agreement signed in 2004, the lease of the base should continue until 2050. But the agreement came under threat in September, after an uncrewed Proton rocket crashed near a city where the Kazakh president happened to be visiting.
Moscow has, however, repeatedly indicated that it wants to transfer a number of its launches especially the military ones to a space center on Russian soil.
Russia currently has several space launch centers on its own territory, including one at Plesetsk in northern Russia, but none are used for manned missions.
Russia plans its first manned space mission from its own territory by 2018.(ANI)
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