A Soyuz rocket streaked into sunny skies over a new multibillion-dollar Siberian spaceport Thursday with Russian President Vladimir Putin watching from a nearby viewing stand, opening another gateway to space for satellites, and eventually cosmonaut crews.
A new $3 billion cosmodrome nestled in the remote taiga wilderness of Russia’s Far East, a sprawling, sparkling facility constructed at the behest of Russian President Vladimir Putin, will host its first rocket launch early Wednesday.
The first launch from Russia’s new cosmodrome in the country’s Far East will not occur until at least early 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week, in a widely-anticipated delay after reports of botched construction and corruption beleaguering the spaceport project.
Russia’s new Angara 5 rocket, the biggest Russian launcher since the end of the Cold War, made a pre-dawn blastoff from the wintry Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Tuesday on a successful first flight. See video and photos of the fiery liftoff from the snowy launch pad.