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Russian space agency expects Vostochny to start operating at full capacity in 2021

Russian state space corporation Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin. Sergey Karpukhin/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Dec 30, 2020, TASS. The Russian state-run space corporation Roscosmos expects the Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East to start operating at full capacity next year, the company’s Director General Dmitry Rogozin said in his New Year congratulations, TASS reported.

“We are saying goodbye to this year and greeting New Year 2021 with high hopes. We hope that the Vostochny space center will start working at full capacity,” he said in a video address published on the Roscosmos website.

The space agency’s plans for 2021 include launching the Nauka multifunctional lab module to the International Space Station and sending the Luna-25 automated mission to the Earth’s natural satellite.

“We have many other plans, and we are ready to put them into practice,” the space official said.

According to Rogozin, 2020 was a difficult year for the rocket and space industry due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions in Russia and worldwide.

“Nevertheless, the rocket and space industry of Russia worked without disruptions. We have carried out all the launches that we had scheduled, including manned missions from the Baikonur space center,” he added.

Overall, Roscosmos carried out 17 space launches from Baikonur (Kazakhstan), Plesetsk (northwestern Russia), Vostochny (Russia’s Far East) and Kourou (French Guiana) in 2020. About 120 satellites were taken to various orbits, including 104 OneWeb satellites, two navigational satellites – Glonass-M and Glonass-K, two Express telecoms satellites and six Gonets satellites. Russia also sent two manned Soyuz-MS spacecraft and two Progress-MS space freighters to the Internaitonal Space Station this year.

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