UGLEGORSK, Russia, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will significantly boost the number of workers involved in the construction of its new Far Eastern Vostochny space launch center, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said at a meeting Wednesday.
“We are going to increase by several fold the manpower currently engaged at the site, disregarding climate or weather conditions," said Rogozin, who oversees the space and defense industries.
The minister added that night work shifts would be added so that construction can be carried out round-the-clock.
The new Vostochny cosmodrome is being built near the town of Uglegorsk in Russia’s Far East. Its first launch pad is planned to become operational next year, with a maiden operational launch slated for 2018.
Sergei Makarov, the chief of the company tasked with building Vostochny’s first launch pad, said the work would commence on May 15.
Moscow is building Vostochny, which will host the country’s new Angara rocket, to reduce its reliance on its main Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.
Russia leases Baikonur, which boasts 15 launch pads for manned and unmanned space launches, from Kazakhstan for an annual rental fee of $115 million.