The Vostochny Cosmodrome is a Russian icon where Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un met. Photo/Reuters
MOSCOW – For his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin chose to show off one of his pet projects. A modern cosmodrome that Putin built in a remote forest in eastern Russia to demonstrate his great aspirations for space exploration.
The Vostochny Cosmodrome began operations in 2016 and is in the Amur region in Russia’s far east, not far from the Chinese border and about 930 miles from the port of Vladivostok.
Since then, the cosmodrome has hosted nearly a dozen launches – most of them successful – and served as an important propaganda tool for the Kremlin to boast about its space program.
Putin ordered the construction of the spaceport to reduce dependence on the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, which gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Berikut adalah 5 fakta tentang Kosmodrom Vostochny.
1. Russia No Longer Dependent on Kazakhstan
According to DW, in Soviet times, it made no difference if Baikonur was in Kazakhstan. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the space station has been overseas, causing problems between Kazakhstan and the Russian space agency, Roskosmos. After moving to Vostochny, Russia will become autonomous in its rocket operations.
The second important aspect relates to costs. The annual cost of Baikonur is USD 117 million – about five percent of Russia’s space budget.
2. Located in Siberia
This new space station is located deep in Siberia, east of Lake Baikal. It is about 6,000 kilometers from Moscow and more than 1,000 km northwest of Vladivostok. The distance to the Chinese border is only 100 km.
The rocket launch site would have to be located in a remote location, or at least on a large body of water immediately to the east, such as at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This ensures that no humans are injured if the rocket explodes in the first critical minutes after liftoff.
3. Launching Soyuz
Currently, only Soyuz rockets can take off from Vostochny. That said, these are Russia’s flagship rockets, with more than 1,000 launches over the past half century. Currently, only uncrewed Soyuz launches will take place at Vostochny.
For manned missions, the Angara rocket will be used. It is still in development, along with Russia’s new spacecraft, Federaziya.