Construction of the 2nd launch pad of the Vostochny Cosmodrome has been launched in the Russian Far East, Florida-based SpaceFlight Insider reports on Monday.
A new launching pad under the name of Site 1A, which is designed to be exploited for launching Angara rockets, is expected to be built by the end of 2022, the article says. The contract worth $580 million for building the launch pad has been recently signed with the Kazan company. The building company will receive the whole amount of money in two tranches. Construction activities at the cosmodrome are expected to begin in early September 2018.
All works on the site are scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2022, which means one more delay in the facility construction, despite the fact that all the necessary technological equipment for building activities was delivered to the site of Vostochny Cosmodrome about a year ago. Previously, a different date was set for the beginning of the construction activities — January 2018. Later it was rescheduled to June.
The Vostochny Cosmodrome construction, which started seven years ago, repeatedly dominated news headlines because of financial problems, corruption scandals, as well as technical difficulties. Even worker strikes related to this grand construction came into the picture. And in February 2018, the ex-head of the state contractor engaged in the Cosmodrome’s construction went to prison for grand corruption.
Taking into account that construction of Site 1A has faced another delay, the date of the first Angara launch from there is still not clear. Earlier it was reported that the first mission from this site was scheduled for 2021.