A new space-shuttle launching site will be built in the Amur Region, costing Russia the astronomical sum of almost $20 billion.
The new cosmodrome, called “Vostochny” (“Eastern”), is expected to become Russia’s number-one cosmodrome, boasting sophisticated facilities, launch pads and other technology.
Vostochny will allow the country to save on leasing the Baikonur cosmodrome from the Kazakhstan government.
In addition, the Kazakh launching site needs renovations as it is not up-to-date enough to carry the entire manned space flight program given up by NASA. Neither is Russia’s own launching site in the far northern city of Arkhangelsk up to the task.
As the new venue will demand a far greater budget than planned, the Russian Space Agency is likely to borrow the much-needed funds. The credit is to be repaid by money from foreign clients who will use Russian satellites.