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Russia planning new Far East spaceport
Posted: Thu, Nov 22, 2007, 9:59 AM ET (1459 GMT)
The Russian government is planning to develop a new spaceport in the nation's Far East region that could support human spaceflights by the end of the next decade. First Deputy Premier Sergei Ivanov said Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed a decree earlier in the month that authorizes the development of the Vostochny ("Eastern") cosmodrome in the Amur region of Russia. The exact site of the spaceport will be identified by 2010, with unmanned launches slated to begin from there in 2015, followed by manned missions in 2018. The spaceport will function in parallel with other Russian-operated spaceports, including the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, at least initially. Russia did establish a spaceport, Svobodny, at an ICBM base in the Far East near the Chinese border in the 1990s, but the site saw little activity and was recently deactivated.
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