Russia to Spend $6 Billion on New Spaceport, Rocket and Human Spacecraft

Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov

Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov told the media that Russia will spend $6 billion through 2015 to build its new Vostochny spaceport and to develop replacements for the Soyuz rocket and spacecraft, Interfax reports.

“The total cost of building a promising manned transport system, a new space rocket complex, Rus-M, the ground processing facility will be about 180 billion rubles by 2015,” he said.

Perminov said that the new Rus-M rocket being developed by TsSKB Progress will be capable of launching up to 24 metric tons into orbit. The new rocket will be tested in 2015, with human launches of a new six-person spacecraft being built by RSC Energia planned to begin in 2018. Designs for the new rocket and spacecraft were drawn up last year.

The launches will take place at the new Vostochny cosmodrome in the Far East, which is set to open in 2015. Perminov said that he expects all necessary approvals for construction of the new rocket base to be complete within two months. He said the project has been delayed due to bureaucratic wrangling, resulting in a decision to create a new directorate to oversee it.

“There were disagreements with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Ministry of Defense in coordination of this program. Today, the decision to consider the program of the Eastern separately and make their own,” Perminov said.

The Roscosmos chief said Russia will fund the development of the “purely civil[ian]” space center and new rockets on its own. However, the Russian government will consider domestic and foreign investment for the infrastructure around the spaceport, which will include a new city to house 35,000 inhabitants.

In remarks to reporters, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin emphasized the importance of the Vostochny spaceport [Google Translate]:

“New Russian cosmodrome guarantees full independence in space activities, including the launching of all types of space vehicles, transportation of cargo ships, orbital station modules. In the future this site will be manned, and the program of studying the Moon and Mars. In general, we expect to strengthen Russia’s position in the global market for space applications and services, it is precisely in those areas where our competitive advantages are obvious.

“Now the world is already in place for more than 20 launch sites, the construction of new launching pads for rocket launching in China, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia and Brazil. Actively developing Guiana Space Center. So the demand for space technologies and services is high and, without a doubt, this demand will only grow.

“I note that the construction of Spaceport East – is not only direct investment in domestic high-tech sector in the innovation economy. It is also a guaranteed, stable orders for Russian industry, additional jobs for many thousands of our citizens.

“And of course, the creation of Spaceport East must encourage the development of the entire Far East region to attract highly qualified staff to tighten under the new challenges the industrial potential of the Far Eastern federal district. For 2011-2013 to implement the program of building Spaceport East in federal budgeted 24.5 billion rubles. Even the order of 57 billion will need to allocate in 2014-2015. I pay attention to: the end of 2011 should be completed all the necessary design and survey and design work in 2015 – was put into operation the first starting complex and must be initiated start-up, in 2018 – completed the second stage carrier rocket and launched a program of manned flights. And of course, must go faster pace construction of social infrastructure, housing, hospitals, clinics and so on.

“Now being coordinated vision and program of a spaceport East. I believe that this issue was delayed – according to preliminary plans, it should have been done before, a lot of time spent on all sorts of bureaucratic approval. So please, Sergei Borisovich (Ivanov), you keep it under control. And by the end of February, the program of building Spaceport East to be adopted at the Government and the construction of launch site to begin on schedule.”