Vostochny’s past and future

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Link here. The article provides an excellent overview of the problems at Vostochny as well as it future, even as the new Russian spaceport prepares for its first launch. Two key quotes:

During 2016, reports about mismanagement, non-payment of salaries and corruption persisted despite all the political scandals in 2015 and the Kremlin’s promises to resolve problems. In January, the Izvestiya daily reported the arrest of three leading engineers of the technical oversight directorate in Vostochny in a massive bribery investigation. Around the same time, the total amount of stolen federal funds from Spetsstroi was estimated at nearly 1.4 billion rubles, according to the Izvestiya.

However in February, a Moscow court ordered the release of former head of the Far-Eastern division of Spetsstroi, (known as Dalspetsstroi) Yuri Khrizman from prison to house arrest, apparently after prosecutors had failed to substantiate charges of unlawful spending of more than five billion rubles against him. Khrizman led construction at Vostochny until 2013 and, reportedly, had a reputation for excellence and integrity among his associates and subordinates. Since his arrest, at least one independent publication described the case against Khrizman as a misguided attempt to find a scapegoat in the hopelessly corrupt construction business. [emphasis mine]

And this:

[G]iven likely delays faced by new projects, Vostochny could see little use until the introduction of the launch pad for the Angara rockets, which was not expected until at least 2021.

Why does this all remind me so much of SLS and Orion? Both seem to be gigantic overpriced projects initiated by the government that are so expensive the government itself can’t afford to do much with them? At least in the U.S., we have one saving grace: the amount of corruption is significantly less.

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