06:27 GMT28 February 2020
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated the country’s space agency Roscosmos on the first launch from the newly-built Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East.

    COSMODROME VOSTOCHNY (Russia’s Far East), (Sputnik) – A Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying three satellites lifted off early on Thursday in the first space launch from the newly-built Vostochny Cosmodrome.

    "There is something to be proud of," Putin said on Thursday adding that "there is still a lot of work…but it is undoubtedly a very serious, significant step in the development of the Russian space industry."

    On Wednesday, the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket from Vostochny was postponed due to a failure of the rocket's automatic control system.

    According to Putin, the launch could have been carried out on Wednesday, if it was not for the technology "trying too hard."

    Vostochny has been under construction since 2012 and is expected to reduce Russia's dependency on the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, which is on lease to Russia until 2050.

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    Tags:
    launch, Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket, Vostochny Cosmodrome, Vladimir Putin
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