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First Soyuz arrives at Vostochny spaceport for debut launch in December

By Olga Gertcyck
25 September 2015

As it arrives, cosmodrome is hit by claims it is victim of 'fraud of the century'.

Soyuz-2.1A carrier rocket made by the Samara-based Progress Rocket Space Centre is due for launch in December. Picture: TSENKI

A train carrying parts of the Soyuz-2.1A carrier rocket has arrived at Russia's new spaceport on the eastern fringe of Siberia. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin wrote: 'A special train with the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket has just arrived at Vostochny Cosmodrome.'

The rocket was made by the Samara-based Progress Rocket Space Centre, and it is due for launch in Decemberm carrying an unmanned payload into orbit. The first manned flight from Vostochny has been postponed until 2025 as the space industry faces belt-tightening due to the economic situation.

Soyuz arrived on Vostochny


Soyuz arrived on Vostochny

'A special train with the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket has just arrived at Vostochny Cosmodrome.' Picture: Dmitry Rogozin

At the same time, the spaceport has been hit by more fraud and corruption allegations. Vostochny was dragged into claims of a multi-billion rouble fraud racket at Russia's key construction projects, with a 13 billion rouble loss caused by overpricing of construction costs, said the Federal Antimonopoly Service.

Andrey Tenishev, head of the department for fighting cartels, said: 'I'd say it's fraud of the century because apart from breaching legislation on competition, we also registered a few side things. In particular, current lack of regulations regarding creating and applying state construction standards can cause random pricing.' 

Vostochny


Vostochny


Inside the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far East of Russia - exclusive pictures


Inside the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far East of Russia - exclusive pictures

The former director of the company which built the Vostochny cosmodrome's roads and railways is suspected of large-scale embezzlement. Pictures: Sergey Levashov, Igor Ageenko

Two new criminal cases of embezzlement during construction at Vostochny are being investigated by Amur region police, it was announced this week. 'Investigators of the Russian Interior Ministry's investigative department for the Amur region have opened a criminal case against the former director of the company which built the Vostochny cosmodrome's roads and railways. He is suspected of large-scale embezzlement,' said the Interior Ministry.

The former director is accused to siphoning off more than $9.3 million. Theft worth $113 million was earlier identified at Vostochny. The Vostochny (Eastern) spaceport is being built near the town of Uglegorsk in Amur region. 

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