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First Spaceport to be Built in Russia

RIA Novosti

15:44 05/04/2012 MOSCOW, April 5 (RIA Novosti) - The Uniparx Development company said on Thursday it was planning to build a spaceport in central Russia near the birthplace of Yury Gagarin, the first man to conquer space.

The Russian spaceport will be similar to the existing Spaceport America in the United States. It will host museums, entertainment facilities, exhibitions and tours for Russian and foreign guests, especially children.

The project, tentatively dubbed Spaceport Gagarin, will be developed under a slogan ‘The Earth and space for children’. It will be part of entertainment resort Vazuza and Yauza Park, being built in Smolensk region, 200 kilometers from Moscow.

U.S.-based Space Adventures, Ltd., which has an office in Moscow, has expressed its willingness to become a partner in the project. The company offers zero-gravity atmospheric flights, orbital space flights and other spaceflight-related experiences.

According to the head of the project, Alexander Tarasevich, the spaceport could also host U.S.-made suborbital spaceships from Richard Branson’s fleet of commercial spacecraft.

“We are planning to contact Richard Branson [whose Virgin Galactic company is planning to start flying its private manned spacecraft from Spaceport America in the near future] and offer him the possibility of placing part of his ‘space fleet’ [at the spaceport] to serve Russian space tourists,” Tarasevich said.

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