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First among equals

There was "Free", became "Eastern"

Amur region as the center of Russian cosmonautics - perhaps, about 10 years ago this phrase would cause only bewilderment: how is the region with a population of less than a million people and three higher education institutions (and one training technical specialists) become the flagship of the most complex industry? Nevertheless, the first civil cosmodrome in the history of Russia will have an Amur residence permit.

First among equals
The fact that the world's largest power needs its own cosmodrome of civil destination, the specialists of the space industry began to speak immediately after the collapse of the USSR, but there was no opportunity to realize this project at that time. Could only after almost fifteen years, when the decree of the President of the country from 6 November 2007 year on the place of the liquidated 2-th The test spaceport of the Ministry of Defense with the romantic name "Free" was created by another, with a name no less sonorous and pleasant - "Oriental".

The reasons for the appearance of such a large and important object on the "edge of geography" are several:

- Firstly, Vostochny is on the same latitude as Baikonur: launching a missile from the Amur region will allow it to be launched into Earth's orbit as soon as possible and save on fuel;
- secondly, given the low population density in the Far East, rocket stages will fall on deserted territories;
- Thirdly, the creation of such an object will make it possible to attract multibillion investments in the Far Eastern economy in general, and the industry in particular.

The area of ​​the new "space harbor" will include several launching "tables" at once: for the carrier rocket "SOYUZ" (being built just now) and for superheavy Angara-type missiles (two structures, the beginning of the work is planned for 2016 year ). The total estimated value of the mega-project exceeded 400 billion rubles, almost a third of them are already being mastered. So, only for the preparation of 11 objects of the so-called trigger minimum will be required 110,7 billion rubles.

According to the Russian space industry scientists, the invested costs will pay off with interest, because now our country pays a considerable lease to Kazakhstan for the use of Baikonur - 115 million dollars a year - and 100 million dollars put into operation its facilities. According to the current agreement, the lease will last until 2050 year, but at the same time 2030-mu 90% of launches Russia intends to conduct from its own cosmodromes (Plesetsk and Vostochny).

The first construction work in the Amur taiga began in the winter of 2012: by summer 2015-th builders were to build 400 structures (120 of which are technical and launch facilities); build an airfield with an airstrip at 4,5 km; build 88 km of utilities, build more 170 km of auto and railway tracks, at least 30 social, cultural and residential facilities and 42 more residential houses.

But already in 2013 at the construction site difficulties began: first the management reported on the monthly backlogs, and later the top officials of the state declared about the breakdowns of all the space plans: because of the confusion with the project documentation and the thefts at some sites, the discrepancies with the original schedules were counted in hundreds Days. After preparations for the Olympics in Sochi, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced the spaceport as the "main construction site for the country", and after a visit to 2014-m on Vostochny, Vladimir Putin, the construction site was taken under special control and identified objects related to the “start-up minimum”: starting, technical and measuring complexes, roads, housing for specialists.

Over the past year and a half, the situation seems to have been rectified: in the spring 2015-th With the objects of the "East", a railway communication was established, and as of August 7, the readiness of the objects of "Dalspetsstroi" (one of the main subcontractors) was 95%.

In spring, it became known and about changing other terms - the first manned launch. It will take place not in 2018-m, As originally planned, but only after 2020 year and will be carried out with the help of the carrier rocket "Angara-A5V". The reason is the revision of priorities. According to the leadership of the space industry, taking into account the prospects of Russian space exploration, it is necessary to create an infrastructure for the newest ships, which later will go to the Moon and Mars.

Among the effects that have already given the construction, there are positive. Thanks to the draft order, 200 defense enterprises across the country have finally received long-awaited orders. The “blood” of the national cosmonautics has been significantly updated: within the framework of the implementation of the federal space program, up to 2020, young people began training in aerospace specialties in several Russian universities. The Far Eastern AmSU was added to the already existing Western MAI, the South Ural State University and the Siberian State University, the first graduates of which this year came to Vostochny as engineers. Newly earned student construction teams - Vostochny has also become one of the main youth construction projects in the country. If in 2012-m Here worked only 50 people, in 2013-m They became 200, a year later - 500, and in 2015-m The number of students employed in the "main construction" has grown to 1200 people. And finally, near the closed city of Uglegorsk, construction of a whole city for 30 thousand inhabitants, named after academician and space creator Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, where specialists plan to provide official housing, began.

According to preliminary information, the launch of the Soyuz-2-1A missile with the launch unit Volga and Russian satellites Lomonosov and Stork-2D from Vostochnoye is scheduled to take place 25 December. The government believes that there should be no talk about postponing the construction schedule of the cosmodrome.
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