First launch from Vostochny Cosmodrome set for April 25

The first launch of a Soyuz launch vehicle is expected at the end of April

The first launch of a Soyuz launch vehicle is expected to be conducted from the Vostochny Cosmodrome, located in Russia's Amur region, on April 25, 2016, Progress Rocket and Space Center general director Alexander Kirilin told reporters on Dec. 24.

"Today's guiding schedule for the first launch campaign envisages such a launch at the end of April - April 25," he said.

The Progress center's brigade is now finishing standalone trials of equipment in the technical area and launch pads, he said.

"This work should be completed before the end of the year. There are no prerequisites for a possible disruption to this work," Kirilin said.

Starting from January 18, the Progress brigade will travel to the Vostochny Cosmodrome, where it will start preparations of the launch vehicle and the Volga upper stage, he said.

"This work is supposed to be completed within a month, and afterwards we will act in launch pad preparedness standby mode. It will be ready for the so-called dress rehearsal [for the launch]," Kirilin said.

Progress has been instructed to deliver all satellites to the cosmodrome at the end of January, he said.

"We have received an instruction to deliver all satellites to the Vostochny Cosmodrome on January 20. They will be delivered by air. Everything has already been prepared for this. Consequently, there are no questions concerning preparations for this transportation and organization of further efforts to prepare for the first launch. We expect the next rocket launching set for Vostochny to be ordered at the beginning of the year," Kirilin said. The Vostochny Cosmodrome, which has been under construction near Uglegorsk village in the Amur region since 2010, will become Russia's first national civilian cosmodrome and will ensure the country's full access to outer space. The first launch from Vostochny was initially expected to take place at the end of 2015.

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