Images Credit & Copyright: JSC/SRC Progress of the first Soyuz at Vostochny Cosmodrome. See below for all the links you need.
LAUNCH ALERT: On Wednesday, April 27 at 02:01 UTC (22:01 EDT on the 26th) a Russian Soyuz 2-1a rocket with Volga upper stage will set the stage for the first launch out of Russia’s new Vostochny Cosmodrome “Eastern Spaceport.”
The rocket will launch from pad LD-1 with a science satellite named Mikhailo Lomonosov (18th Century Russian scientist) designed to study Earth’s upper atmosphere, magnetosphere, high-energy cosmic rays and gamma rays. Along for the ride will also be two smaller Aist 2 and SamSat 218 satellites.
VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME “Eastern Spaceport”
Vostochny is set in Amur Oblast, Russia’s Far East near the border of China, about 3,400 mi (5,500 km) east of Moscow and along the 51st parallel on the site of the former Soviet missile base, Svobodny 18.
This new spaceport is designed to reduce Russia’s dependency on the legendary Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Vostochny, along with the Plesetsk Cosmodrome (Russia’s “Heartland Cosmodrome”) in Northwestern Russia’s Mirny, Arkhalgelsk Oblast plans to reduce Baikonur’s workload to about 10 percent with roughly 45 percent each going to Vostochny and Plesetsk.
Currently the only pad nearing launch status is the LD-1 Soyuz pad but a handful of others are slated to be constructed on the 23,880 acres (9,663 hectares) to include human rated pads for Soyuz and Angara.
It’s understandable that Russia would land to limit their dependence on another nations land to fly to space as Baikonur is leased to Russia for roughly $115 million annually, but Baikonur is also a legend and I for one, hope that it’s preserved to some extent as a world heritage site. There is history there like no place else on Earth.
JSC/SRC PROGRESS: Progress State Research and Production Space Centre (JSC/SRC Progress or TsSKB Progress):
JSC/SRC Progress: http://en.samspace.ru/
JSC/SRC Progress page for these images: http://en.samspace.ru/multimedia/images/selected_images/578/
OAO/RSC ENERGIA: S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation
Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center:
International Launch Services (ILS):
ILS Home: http://www.ilslaunch.com/
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ILS YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ilslaunchservices