Vostochny Cosmodrome will 'improve life in the Far East and upgrade its industrial base'.
'We may create an academic city near the Vostochny spaceport to develop new projects in the rocket industry'. Picture: Dmitry Medvedev facebook
The new launch centre and 'space city' is a vast infrastructure project in Russia's Pacific region. In October, the launch site was reported as being three months behind schedule. But vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin told a government meeting this week that failing managers were sacked, and 'institutional' problems resolved, leading to a major reduction in the delay.
'I was there at the end of summer and saw that this project was lagging behind schedule,' he said. 'There were not enough workers at the construction of first-stage facilities. Meanwhile, these facilities should become our first launching pad from which we must launch Soyuz rockets in 2015. The second launching pad will become operational in 2018 and it will involve manned spacecraft.
'We'll launch heavy Angaras from it. We tried to find out what was wrong. It appears that the Government and its Military-Industrial Commission received, putting it mildly, incomplete information about the progress of construction.
'As a result of 'personnel and institutional decisions', he said 'we have reduced the delay from three months to ten days. We hope that by the end of the year we will be working on schedule'.
'The second stage will be finished in 2018. At that point we'll be able to launch manned spacecraft'. Picture: Russian Federal Space Agency
A number of senior construction managers were also replaced, said Rogozin. 'The head of Dalspetsstroy (the agency for special construction in the Far East) was dismissed. We also replaced some top managers in Spetsstroy (Federal Agency for Special Construction) and the Federal Space Agency,' he told prime minister Dmitry Medvedev at a government meeting.
'All in all, there are 5,246 workers, and before their number was much smaller - more than three times smaller,' Rogozin said.
'We must have more freedom of action in international, commercial launches. This should improve life in the Far East and upgrade its industrial base,' said Medvedev of the Amur region cosmodrome. 'The project provides for the construction of over 400 facilities and more than 170 km of roads and railways.
'This project has certain deadlines. When first-stage construction is completed, we'll be able to launch carrier rockets. This will be done in 2015. The second stage will be finished in 2018. At that point we'll be able to launch manned spacecraft.'
'The head of the new space port will be appointed in December, said Rogozin.
'I want to go to Vostochny some time in the middle of December, and the decision will get ripe while I am there in the Amur region,' he said.
While much attention has focused on the launch site itself, developments around include a new town dedicated for the space personnel. The town named Tsiolkovsky will accommodate at least 25,000 mainly young people and may become home to 'the young design potential', said Rogozin.
'We may create an academic city near the Vostochny spaceport to develop new projects in the rocket industry,' he added.
President Vladimir Putin has said the new spaceport 'should confirm the high scientific and technological status of Russia'.
It was a 'yet another strong point for the development of our Far East'.
Drivers take 12 days covering 7,000km to see how new 'plug-in' rechargeable cars cope with climate and landscape.
Journalists test Chinese Geely on epic 10,000km journey from Belarus and find it performs well in the harsh climate - even if they did have to wear ski clothes.
Putin prepares to head to New Delhi to approve deal as Moscow looks to expand trade links with Asia.
Consortium featuring Russian businessman line up bid to invest in mine which develops deposits in Siberia.