Russia plans to develop a launch pad for super heavy-lift launch vehicles needed for future lunar missions at the newly-build Vostochny space center, Roscosmos state space corporation Director General Igor Komarov said on Tuesday.
VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME (Sputnik) — Flight tests of Russia’s Angara-A5V super-heavy class carrier rocket at the cosmodrome are currently set for 2027, according to Military-Industrial Commission documents.
“One of the good news for the cosmodrome is that we plan to develop a launch pad for super heavy-lift launch vehicles here,” Komarov said, adding that the possibility of a mission to the Moon is directly connected to the creation of a super heavy-lift carrier rocket.
Komarov explained that Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Roscosmos to accelerate the work on the new carrier. The space corporation now hopes to have the rocket ready for launch by 2028.
The estimated dates for lunar missions will also move closer, Komarov added, stating that these would hopefully become possible by 2030.
Russia carried out the maiden space launch from the Vostochny Cosmodrome on April 28, 2016. It involved a Soyuz-2.1, a light class space rocket with three research satellites.
Vostochny is expected to reduce Russia’s dependency on Kazakhstan’s Baikonur, on lease to Russia until 2050.