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Budget Forecast Falls for Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome

Kremlin Press Service

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has confirmed government funding worth at least $776 million for ongoing construction at the Vostochny Cosmodrome over the next two years. 

The new cosmodrome in Russia's Far East is set to receive 25 to 30 billion rubles ($388 to $465 million) per year during the period of 2017 to 2019.

“It is not as large a sum of money as we had anticipated before,” Rogozin was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying.

The Vostochny Cosmodrome is intended to free Russia from its dependence on the Soviet-built Baikonur Cosmodrome, owned by Kazakhstan. The project has seen several delays due to faulty workmanship and major corruption scandals.

Estimates on how much the new facility has cost the Russian government vary. Initially predicted to cost just shy of $2 billion, the bill has reportedly reached as high as $3 billion for just the first two launch pads at the new cosmodrome. The launch pads, copies of those built at Baikonur for Russia's venerable Soyuz rocket, went online earlier this year.

Vostochny is also intended to be the launch site for Russia's latest rocket family, known as Angara. The Angara complex is the cornerstone of Vostochny's phase two construction, but the Russian space agency has delayed completion of the facility to the early 2020s.

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