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Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects new space rocket launch pad

Published: April 12, 2013 | 10:05 pm
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Vladimir Putin in Berlin

(CNA)-Russian President Vladimir Putin toured the construction site of the new Vostochny launch pad on the 52nd anniversary of the first manned space flight by Yuri Gagarin, Telegraph reports.

The new Vostochny site is designed to ease Russia’s reliance on its ex-Soviet neighbour Kazakhstan, and will cost $10 billion US dollars to complete.

The first launch from Vostochny, which is located in the sparsely populated Amur region, 3,400 miles east of Moscow, is expected in 2015 and the first manned flight in 2018.

Although Russia has several smaller launch pads, manned missions are only launched from the steppes in Kazakhstan’s Baikonur.

Brushing off reports that Russia may ditch its space base in Kazakhstan, President Putin said that Moscow would continue to lease the space complex.

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