Moscow: Russia will begin construction of a new space centre in the country's Far East in 2011, a government official said on Monday. It currently has separate launch sites for space carrier rockets and ballistic missiles tests.
The Baikonur space centre in the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan is on lease since the collapse of the Soviet Union and is utilised for all space-related activity. The Plesetsk space centre in northwest Russia is used primarily for military uses, such as launch of missiles.
According to Gen Nikolai Abroskin, head of the Federal Service for the Production of Special Construction Work, construction of the new Vostochny station would be carried out in three stages, and would be complete by 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.
The general also said that design work related to the station's infrastructure was in progress.