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    Roscosmos Plans Up to 5 Yearly Foreign Client Launches From Vostochny Cosmodrome

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    Russia's Roscosmos state space corporation is determined to launch up to five carrier rockets from the newly built Vostochny cosmodrome every year for its foreign clients starting in 2019, Roscosmos Director General Igor Komarov said Tuesday.

    VOSTOCHNY SPACE CENTER (Sputnik) — He expressed confidence that all the necessary conditions for state-sponsored missions, as well as for efficient commercial functioning, would be created at the space center by 2019.

    "Foreign [companies] also express interest, there are plans and contracts, and, starting 2019, we will launch at least four-five carrier rockets under the contracts with our foreign partners. One of the contracts is well-known, it is еру contact with OneWeb, which stipulates 21 launches, the largest contract of Roscosmos and the largest contract in the history. We are planning to carry out the majority of these launches from Vostochny Space Center," Komarov told reporters.

    On June 1, the UK-based OneWeb and Russia's Gonets, a subsidiary of Roscosmos, signed a joint venture at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which stipulates launching a total of 882 satellites. OneWeb CEO Eric Beranger told journalists that its first satellites would be sent atop Russia's Soyuz carriers in 2018. On July 3, Komarov said that Roscosmos was planning not only to send OneWeb's satellites into space, but also to provide operating services for a mobile web group of satellites. OneWeb plans to use its satellites to provide global internet accessibility.

    Vostochny Space Center 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. Russia carried out a maiden space launch from Vostochny on April 28, 2016. It involved a Soyuz-2.1a light class space rocket with three research satellites.

    Tags:
    launch centers, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2017, Vostochny Cosmodrome, Vostochny Space Center
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