MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - The construction of a new space center in Russia's Far East will start in 2011, a government official said on Monday.
Russia currently uses two launch sites for space carrier rockets and ballistic missiles tests: the Baikonur space center in the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan, which it has leased since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia.
Army Gen. Nikolai Abroskin, head of the Federal Service for the Production of Special Construction Work, said construction of the new Vostochny station would be carried out in three stages, and would be completed in 2018.
"In all, seven launch pads are to be built at the space center, including two for manned flights and two for space freighters," the general said.
He said an inter-agency working group had been created, and that work to design elements of the station's infrastructure was in progress.