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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The fate of funding the “East” decided the five of us, Kudrin had to be persuaded


A good — albeit at the second attempt — the rocket launch from the Vostochny cosmodrome has again given rise to talk about the history of the second “Baikonur”. Why do we from two spaceports? What places were considered for the construction of the Amur region instead? What problems had to be solved at first? This “MK” told the former head of the Russian space Agency, now Deputy Director General JSC “Russian space systems” Anatoly PERMINOV, in which lay a new spaceport in 2011-m to year.


photo: Roscosmos

Why you need the cosmodrome “East”

– Each country increases the number of launch pads, there is a trend of growth in dimensions and mass characteristics of manned and cargo space vehicles, orbital station modules, increasing the mass of a typical spacecraft launched into geostationary orbit.

Newly created means of transportation must be economically efficient, have high technical reliability and safety of operation, based on environmentally friendly components of rocket fuel. Thus “Park” the domestic carriers will grow quantitatively and qualitatively. Of course, it was possible to proceed with the development and construction of fundamentally new launch and technical complexes of the cosmodrome “Baikonur”. It is technically quite feasible. However, be realistic – today new construction at the cosmodrome “Baikonur” in fact means the creation of a costly national infrastructure on the territory of another state, and such infrastructure, the use of which is becoming uneconomical, and tomorrow may not be politically questionable.

Help “MK”. The lease of the facilities of Baikonur annually costs Russia $ 115 million US. About 1.3 billion annually, the Russian side spent for the maintenance of Baikonur.

Who claimed

– For the construction of a new cosmodrome was discussed at least six places: the Kapustin YAR (Astrakhan region), Berezniki (Perm Krai), Tara (Omsk oblast), Ust-Kut (Irkutsk oblast), Svobodnyy (Amur region) and Sovetskaya Gavan (Khabarovsk Krai)…

The main result has two locations – Svobodnensky district of the Amur region and the Vanino district of the Khabarovsk territory. In the process, priority was given to the Amur region (where now is located “East”).

There are a number of factors, convincingly confirming the validity of this choice. This is to ensure maximum safety during launches of carrier rockets and the optimal level of costs for construction of the spaceport when compared to other examined regions remote from the European part of Russia.

The important role played by the nation-wide nature of the task on development of the far Eastern region and strengthening its role in the national economy and its importance in the expansion of Russia in the sphere of economic cooperation and political influence in the Asia–Pacific region.

What could disrupt construction

– In 2008, in connection with the financial crisis in the world and the country began reducing funding to all Ministries and agencies, including funding cuts threatened the Russian space Agency for 2009-2011. The consequences of such cuts would be a disaster for us, so I have the task of preparing documents in the Government to prevent such funding.

Otherwise, we would have: the delay in terms of creation of the cosmodrome “East”, the gap of at least 3 years in development of advanced space systems, etc. In December 2008, I was summoned to a meeting on the issue to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. In the office besides us there were only a few people: Sergey Ivanov, Alexei Kudrin and Elvira Nabiullina.

I reported reduction options and their consequences. During the discussion I realized that almost all the participants did not want such a reduction of funding of the Russian space Agency, but Alexei Kudrin was against. I was asked to leave the office, I with persistence doomed refused to leave, thinking that I don’t trust. Then Mr Putin. stood up, approached me and explained that I need to get out of the office, so they talked without me, I left.

In a few minutes came out Ivanov. and said that hope I have left, after another 10 minutes came out… Elvira Nabiullina, Alexei Kudrin. Finally he came out, all excited, came up to me and said, “You gonna pay me that money in 2-3 years, we still shall have to take”, I replied that, of course, agree with the understanding that no reduction will for us, but rather we will receive increased funding.

Still I am grateful to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for his foreknowledge of events and the support of the Russian space Agency at this difficult time. He, personally visiting enterprises of the FSUE “Khrunichev Khrunichev”, FSUE “NPO named after S. A. Lavochkin”, OJSC NPO “Energomash im. of academician V. P. Glushko” has taken part in providing financial assistance to these enterprises during the financial crisis.

What are the tasks of a new spaceport

– It needs to be focused on the solution of problems, first of all space activities scientific and socio-economic purpose (read a material “the Rocket taking off with “East”, launched into orbit a hunter “elves””). At the same time, on the new spaceport must be capable of implementation of the program of manned space flight.

At the launch site needs to turn a promising launch vehicles, using environmentally safe propellants. Hence the need to carry out a manned mission to the moon, to ensure the viability of permanent inhabited bases on the moon, to launch research units for further study of outer space, communications satellites and Earth observation on the basis of the new heavy platforms.

Recorded Natalia VEDENEEVA

Watch the video on “Published footage of the successful launch of the rocket “Soyuz” from the spaceport “East”

28 APR successfully launched rocket “Soyuz 2.1 a” from the cosmodrome “East”. The launch was to take place a day earlier, but was postponed for technical reasons. Both launches were attended by President Vladimir Putin. Read more in our report from the spaceport.

Video published on the website youtube.com user TV Studio of Roscosmos

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