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New super-heavy rockets to launch from Russian Far East cosmodrome to Mars and beyond

03 September 2014

Kremlin gives go ahead for work on the new rockets for missions from Vostochny space centre.

Deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin, now in charge of the development of the space complex. Picture: Dmitry Rogozin

The go-ahead came as Vladimir Putin visited the new cosmodrome as part of a major tour of eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East.

Deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin, now in charge of the development of the space complex, said of the super-heavy rocket development: 'The president has given the preliminary go-ahead to begin work on this project.'

He stated: 'This means that, after developing the entire family of the Angara rockets - the light, middle, and heavy classes - we will switch to creating rockets of an absolutely different class, not the 7, 15, and 25 tonne-ones, but 120-150-tonne ones.'

The timescale means that these rockets will be created 'after 2020', he said. 

Putin criticised delays in the work on the space complex, which has been blamed on a shortage of manpower.

'In the future, the capacity of the cosmodrome will be expanded ... to be used to realise programmes to explore the Moon, Mars and other space objects,' he said.

Construction works on Vostochny spaceport


Launching complex under construction


Putin meets with students on the construction site

'Rigorous order must be restored in this extremely important business, so everyone must be on guard. Russia has very rigorous plans connected with the defence industry and the space rocket sector.' Pictures: Dmitry Rogozin, kremlin.ru

Putin said work on the cosmodrome was 30 to 55 days behind schedule. 

He put Rogozin in charge of the the commission for coordinating the Vostochny cosmodrome project in a bid to hasten the work. 

'The president has made the decision to put a deputy prime minister, not the Roscosmos chief [Oleg Ostapenko], in charge of the commission for coordinating the work at the Vostochny cosmodrome,' said Rogozin.

'This means that I am assuming personal responsibility and will be directly in charge of coordinating the entire workload to create the cosmodrome.

He made clear it was impossible to run this complicated work remotely and that the web cameras installed at the construction site were no longer sufficient.

Rocket flies to the planet


People on the Moon

'In the future, the capacity of the cosmodrome will be expanded ... to be used to realise programmes to explore the Moon, Mars and other space objects.' Pictures: Andrey Sokolov, Alexey Leonov; Nikolay Kolchitsky

'The entire work must be fully under control. Nothing must remain outside supervision, first of all the finances,' he explained. 

'All of these tricks practiced over the past years won't pass. The entire work will be controlled, starting from the blueprints and the cost of the construction and those responsible for it will be under control.

'Rigorous order must be restored in this extremely important business, so everyone must be on guard. Russia has very rigorous plans connected with the defence industry and the space rocket sector.

'The construction of as sophisticated a facility as the Vostochny cosmodrome is no longer Roscosmos's responsibility. 

'It is a responsibility bestowed directly on the government. The president will regularly return to this issue.'

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