Thursday, Nov 14 2019
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Right on the bank of the river there is a station Ob, a big trading city with magnificent cathedral, great schools and shops — very American-like.'
1904, priest Mitrophan Serebryaniy

A glimpse into the future of space: we go inside Vostochny cosmodrome

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 May 2015

Roscosmos allows access to ultra-modern technology at complex that will send Russians to the Moon... and beyond.

It is estimated that about 60 per cent of the construction and installation work has been completed, and the first training tests will begin in August. Picture: Andrey Ilyinsky/Amurskaya Pravda

New images have been released showing the progress at the multi-billion-rouble cosmodrome with officials now confident the first launch will take place on schedule. For the first time, Roscosmos has allowed journalists to take pictures of the ultra-modern and high-tech equipment being installed at the Vostochny spaceport.

It is estimated that about 60 per cent of the construction and installation work has been completed, and the first training tests will begin in August. The first rocket is also expected to arrive at this time, ahead of the first highly-anticipated launch of a Soyez-2-1a on December 25.

Alexander Barinov, a specialist at TsENKI, the Centre for the Operation of the Ground-based Space Infrastructure, said: 'For the first time we are putting in here the world’s latest equipment - it has never been used before. For example regarding the system of air cooling and supply, no spaceport has it except Vostochny.'

Vostochny inside


Vostochny inside

'For the first time we are putting in here the world’s latest equipment - it has never been used before.' Pictures: Andrey Ilyinsky/Amurskaya Pravda

The sprawling 551 sq km Vostochny complex, close to the Chinese border, will employ up to 25,000 people. Architects say the new community will be a 'one-of-its-kinds scientific and tourist space town with a unique design and beautiful landscape'. There will be three launch pads - one for the Soyuz and two for Angara rockets.

The mobile service tower is the highest structure at the site, similar to one that TsENKI expert built at Kourou in the French Guiana. It is designed to service a rocket already on the launch pad and will travel to it.

'This facility will allow our specialists to work in comfort any time of the year,' said Elena Toropova, the head of the department of monitoring for the mounting of technological processes and transitions. 'Frosts here are over -40C and strong winds and sometimes we have to stop work. Rocket launches will be conducted mainly in the winter.

Vostochny inside


Vostochny inside


Vostochny inside


Vostochny inside


Vostochny inside

'We are doing everything in our power and are ahead of schedule due to the increase in the number of installers and technicians, so much so that we have already reviewed and changed the mounting technology.' Pictures: Andrey Ilyinsky/Amurskaya Pravda

'Now there is only mounted metal, but we will insulate the tower, and it will be coated, supplied with electricity and water. The roof at the tower is removable, so its size can be enlarged for further launch of manned rocket.' One such manned project includes the exciting mission to send a Russian to the Moon in 2029. Ms Toropova added: 'We have the best specialists in the world here and everyone is working around the clock.

'We are doing everything in our power and are ahead of schedule due to the increase in the number of installers and technicians, so much so that we have already reviewed and changed the mounting technology.'

Another unique aspect of the complex is the world’s highest refuelling cable mast.

Vostochny inside


Vostochny inside

The mobile service tower is the highest structure at the site, similar to one that TsENKI expert built at Kourou in the French Guiana. Pictures: Andrey Ilyinsky/Amurskaya Pravda

News that the site is now ahead of schedule will be welcomed by the Kremlin, which had intervened earlier this year amid a series of delays. The project was also engulfed in claims of financial corruption, with Russia’s Accounts Chamber uncovering the construction costs have been overstated by $180million.

Testing of the new rocket technology is on-going and, according to the draft Federal Space Programme for 2016-2025, there will be several lunar missions in 2021 and 2022 leading up to the landing of cosmonauts themselves in 2029. While the Angara-A5V has been chosen for the first manned space mission, test flights involving the rocket are still ongoing.

According to officials it will be capable of launching payloads of about 77,000lbs into orbit and will easily be able to take cosmonauts to the Moon, and be involved in Mr Putin’s dream of building Russia’s own new space station.

Comments (2)

Great summary and picture series of ongoing construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome. Been following progress for last two years. This center will be the pride of Russia and a real launch pad to the future.
John Hargenrader, Alexandria, VA, USA
02/06/2015 20:58
0
0
I am just curious to know why the rocket launches would be conducted in winter times? Is there any special reason for that?
G. Gansukh, Ulaanbaatar, MONGOLIA
27/05/2015 19:51
1
0
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


Features

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR70.68USD64.21GBP82.45Other...