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Road to the stars

The construction of the "East" without exaggeration followed the whole country from small to large. Regular news reports reported on the successes and problems of the grandiose construction, which, it seemed, would never end. By the forces of thousands of specialists in the middle of the remote taiga, the most modern cosmodrome in the world was built. The coveted phrase: "Start! .. Ignition! .. The rocket went! .." waited a long four years.

Road to the stars

28 April 2016 year in 05.01 Moscow time a new stage in the development of the Russian space industry. Under the deafening roar of the engines of the Soyuz-2.1 launch vehicle, the Vostochny Space Center was opened. The successful launch was the result of a titanic work done by thousands of specialists from all over the country. More than 4 years have been prepared for the launch of the missile. During this time, in the middle of the deaf Amur taiga was built the most modern cosmodrome in the world.

The cosmodrome includes all the necessary infrastructure: the launch and technical complexes, an industrial construction and operational base, water and power supply systems, telecommunications and communications facilities, roads and railways, security system facilities and even the new city of Tsiolkovsky - to accommodate specialists have been built. In total, 115 km of roads and 125 km of railways have been built. More than 500 buildings and structures have been erected that can withstand high seismic loads.


Cosmic scale solution

The construction of the new cosmodrome became widely known on August 28, 2010, when Vladimir Putin (at that time the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation) visited the village of Uglegorsk. The need to create its own cosmodrome capable of launching heavy rockets was dictated by strategic security issues.

The operation of the Baikonur cosmodrome annually costs the budget more than 6 billion rubles, but the launches have been repeatedly blocked by Kazakhstan under various pretexts. At the same time, the infrastructure of the current cosmodrome is very outdated and requires complete modernization for new missile systems of the Angara type.

The site was chosen based on extensive research. The most important aspects were the guarantee of an unimpeded launch of the launch vehicles and an advantageous geographic position (due to the correct flight path of the rocket, up to 30% of the total launch cost can be saved). The initial segment of the flight path of the launch vehicle should not pass over densely populated areas and over the territories of foreign states. At the same time, the fall areas of the separating parts of the launch vehicles should be located in sparsely populated areas of the territory of Russia or in neutral waters.

Uglegorsk perfectly suited these requirements, except for a number of difficulties. The construction of the object had to start in the taiga, practically from scratch. It was necessary to build and roads, and the airfield, and a new city. But the decision was made - the cosmodrome be!


Engineering Miracle

Figures speak best of the work done. During the peak period of construction at Vostochny, more than 8000 builders were involved, about 1000 units of the most modern equipment. The work was carried out in two shifts, without days off and holidays. We worked in frosts, reaching minus 40 degrees, and in the heat - at plus 40.

Dozens of buildings and structures were erected on the area of ​​the launch complex, exceeding 90 Ha. 2,7 km of motor roads and 7,2 km of railways were laid. All facilities are connected by underground communication tunnels, with a total length of more than 6 km. Objects were erected with a margin of strength, capable of withstanding the most extreme impact. 

For the erection of reinforced concrete structures of the launch structure, about 160 cubic meters of concrete were laid and 000 tons of reinforcement were installed. A characteristic feature of the "start" is a high density of reinforcement. For the fire ring, a reinforced cage with curved reinforcement was developed.

Many technologically complex types of work were carried out in extreme weather conditions, which required the use of special technologies. So, in order to observe the technology of hardening concrete when concreting the launching structure, "hotbeds" were created, where the necessary temperature was maintained with the help of heat guns and electric heating. Because of frosts, equipment sometimes broke down, but people worked hard.


Technical complex 

The main facilities of the complex are: the assembly and testing buildings of the carrier rocket and space vehicle (MIK RN and spacecraft), the filling and neutralization station and the trans-board gallery are built using the latest technologies. All necessary engineering infrastructure and a fire station have been created.

Assembly and test buildings - modern industrial workshops with a total area of ​​over 39 sq. meters. A special microclimate is provided in the assembly and testing halls - temperature 000-18 C, humidity 25%. Such conditions are provided by modern heat supply, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Only in the ventilation units of the assembly part with an area of ​​80 sq. meters, the volume of processed air is more than 9 million cubic meters per hour.

In special premises of the technical complex on an area of ​​45 sq. meters used a special floor covering. Modern conductive (conductive) antistatic floors protect highly sensitive electronic equipment from the effects of electrostatic energy. Special requirements are imposed on the floors - they must withstand the weight of the launch vehicle. For this, 000 bored piles were installed to a depth of 8 meters - each pair is subjected to a load of 360 tons.

Engineering communications and specialized systems are laid in technological canals, with a total length of 3,5 km.

About 20 units of lifting equipment have been installed in the structures of the technical complex. Including 100 ton overhead cranes, mounted at a height of 20 meters, used for unloading and assembling the launch vehicle.  

The complex of instruments for measuring, collecting and processing information (KSISO) includes a unified technological module, 18 pylons on which measuring instruments, collecting and processing information are placed, an 85-meter adjustment tower and a shelter.

The facilities of the Vostochny cosmodrome are provided with utilities. Heating, water, electricity, ventilation, and sewerage networks are available for use by end users. The power complex created in Vostochny is capable of providing electricity to a half-million industrial city.


The second stage

Today, construction of the second stage of the cosmodrome has already begun, according to the plan it should be completed in 2021 year. At the same time, the space around the cosmodrome is developing - a cluster of scientific, industrial, residential and tourist infrastructure is being created. Now the construction of the science town Tsiolkovsky is intensively underway - several high-rise buildings have already been built and inhabited, but the most active stage of infrastructure development will begin after October October 31.

The next year, two launches are scheduled from the newest and only civilian cosmodrome in Russia. The head of Roscosmos, Igor Komarov, said that in 2017, two Canopus satellites and Meteor would be put into orbit, and with the 2018, the conveyor would actually turn on: according to the plan, six to eight starts from year.

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