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Space Firm: Russia to Shift All Lunar Launches to Vostochny Cosmodrome

Sputnik News

15:19 11.04.2016(updated 17:26 11.04.2016)

Russia will stop using the Soviet-era Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for lunar launches, according to Russian-based Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC Energia).

KOROLYOV (Moscow Region), (Sputnik) – Moscow made the decision to shift all operations linked to Russia's moon mission to the Vostochny cosmodrome, the company behind the program said Monday.

"All further works to implement the lunar program, including a flight around the moon and a moon landing will take place after 2025. All launches will take place at the Vostochny cosmodrome," RSC Energia General Designer Yevgeny Mikrin said.

Vostochny in Russia's Far East was conceived as an alternative to Baikonur, which is on lease to Russia until 2050. The new space port has been under construction since 2012. The first launch from Vostochny is planned for April 27, according to the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos.

Russia is already building a next-generation reusable spacecraft to replace the Soyuz family. The spaceship, called Federation, is due to be launched in unmanned mode in 2021, with a manned launch to the International Space Station planned by 2023, Mikrin said at the company's council meeting in the city of Korolyov near Moscow.

Mikrin said the Energia corporation was also working on a range of space technologies that would further the ambitious lunar program, including a heavy-lift launch vehicle, an upper-stage rocket and an interorbital space tug.


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