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The competition heats up: The massive concrete launchpad structure for Russia’s Soyuz rockets at its new spaceport in Vostochny is now almost finished.
Nor is that the only thing getting built.
Also, official Russian TV showed the installation of giant cisterns for kerosene fuel, liquid oxygen and nitrogen gas at a nearly completed storage facility of the launch complex. The active construction of 12 residential buildings, of a kindergarden, of a boiler facility and of a water treatment plant was also continuing at the future space center. A new concrete-production plant, a power conversion station and a car park were reported approaching completion. During the summer, regular workforce was reinforced with 400 members of 22 student teams assembled at the site from 15 regions of the Russia, the local government said.
The head of Russia’s space agency also visited the site this week, demonstrating the government’s continuing strong commitment to get this new spaceport finished on time.
Update: In related news, sources in Russia’s Finance Ministry say that by 2016 the budget for Baikonur will be zeroed out, the money shifted entirely to running Vostochny. This is the first solid indication that Russia plans to abandon its historic Kazakhstan spaceport when the new spaceport is finished. Previously officials insisted that Russia was going to continue its partnership with Kazakhstan.