Russia to build new commercial spaceport near China, report says

Russia will invest $800 million in a new spaceport designed for commercial space flight in the nation's eastern lands that border with China.

Russia will invest 24.7 million rubles, or about $800 million USD, in a new spaceport designed for commercial space flight in the nation's eastern lands that border with China, according to a new report.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the spaceport is intended to ease its dependence on the Soviet-era Baikonur launch site it rents from Kazakhstan, reports the BBC.

The new structure, called the Vostochny cosmodrome, will be built near the town of Uglegorsk, located in Russia's Amur Oblast region, which borders China. It's slated to be operational by 2015.

While the spaceport won't be used exclusively for commercial flight, it's intended mostly for civilian launches.

It is planned to be mostly used for civilian launches and should be operational by 2015.

A few takeaways about the proposed project:

  • Up to 30,000 workers will be used to build the facility.
  • At 700 square kilometers, it will be smaller and more compact than the Baikonur facility.
  • It will be comprised of launch pads, a residential compound and research laboratories.

Russia also has plans for manned space flight, and hopes to do so at the new facility by 2018.

The nation is also investing in "a new generation of space vessels that could also be used for interplanetary flights," such as to Mars, the BBC reports.

Photo: Baikonur Cosmodrome. (Bill Ingalls/NASA)

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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