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Russia begins construction of Angara launchpad at Vostochny

Russia has begun the construction of the first Angara launchpad at their new Vostochny spaceport.

According to earlier reports, the Angara launch pad is to be completed by December 31, 2022. Construction costs are estimated at nearly 39 billion rubles ($565 million).

Somehow it seems to me that this construction is too expensive and is taking too long. A launchpad is essentially a specialized building on the surface. I don’t see why it should be so difficult or expensive to do.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • Localfluff

    For Angara it might be more complex than the average launch pad, since it is modular. To be launched with 1 or 5 common cores, and on the drawing board there are 3 and 7 cores too although those have been postponed AFAIK. I suppose Angara 5 requires a launch tower that reaches around the rocket to fuel all the cores. Still that’s alot of money, considering Russian prices. They do not import much in the way of military and space stuff, so they have their own price level there quite isolated from the rest of the world.

  • wodun

    SpaceX still doesn’t have their Texas site operational.

  • Paul cross

    1st. We don’t know for sure, what it’s going to be designed to launch or the size of the craft. We assume it’s the same as we already know…but we could be wrong. They have already surprised people with developments lately..why not again. 2nd. there must be some reason trump is trying to organize a space force…a new arms race/ space race?

  • Edward

    Paul cross,
    The reason that Trump is working on a Space Force is the same reason that Congress has been discussing the same action for a few years. It has become increasingly clear that our military assets in space are not as safe as we wish them to be. Vulnerabilities have become known, such as the 2007 Chinese anti-satellite missile test and various laser attacks (e.g. trying to blind satellite cameras).

    The main purpose for the proposed Space Force is to protect our space assets, largely by changing the way we design and operate them.

    One concern is that we currently have small numbers of large, expensive satellites that are easy targets and difficult to replace quickly. A proposed solution is to replace their functions with constellations of small satellites whose function are difficult to diminish without disabling a large number of satellites yet are easy to replace quickly should some, most, or all of them be disabled by enemy action. Such constellations can make an attack on the space assets not worthwhile.

    The thought is that a single military organization that manages our space assets can do a better job of protection than the current more distributed system.

    In answer to your question (please note that the reporter, not Pence, calls it an arms race):

    [Vice President] Pence argued that the United States did not start this arms race. “Our adversaries already have transformed space into a war fighting domain and the United States will not shrink from this challenge.”

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