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Russia to build new space centre in 2011

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow : The construction of a new space centre in Russia’s Far East will start in 2011, a government official said Monday.

Russia currently uses two launch sites for space carrier rockets and ballistic missiles tests: the Baikonur space centre in the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan, which it has leased since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Plesetsk space centre in northwest Russia.

Army General Nikolai Abroskin, head of the Federal Service for the Production of Special Construction Work, said construction of the new Vostochny station would be carried out in three stages, and would be completed in 2018.

“In all, seven launch pads are to be built at the space centre, including two for manned flights and two for space freighters,” the general said.

He said an inter-agency working group had been created, and that work to design elements of the station’s infrastructure was in progress.