The Vostochny Cosmodrome is one of the largest projects being implemented on the territory of the Russian Federation in the XNUMXst century. The construction of such a large facility, especially in adverse climatic conditions, is associated with extremely difficult engineering andtechnical work performed by the best specialists in the country.
It is worth recalling that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the construction of a new cosmodrome in November 2007. Initially, the object was supposed to be built near Vladivostok on the Pacific coast. However, experts drew attention to the rather unfavorable weather conditions for the location of the spaceport in this place, as a result of which it was decided to move the construction site to the Amur Region. The choice was due to the low seismicity of the territory, the supply of electricity produced in the region, a relatively developed transport network and the safety of launches (the trajectories of launched missiles will not cross the territories of other countries and shipping routes).
The construction of the first stage of the Vostochny cosmodrome started in 2012 and was completed in 2016 (some facilities were put into operation until 2018). The work was accompanied by major corruption investigations, specialists at the cosmodrome repeatedly complained to the head of state about non-payment of wages, took part in strikes. In 2018, the official representative of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation, Alexander Kurennoy, said that over 140 criminal cases were initiated on the facts of violations during the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome, and the damage amounted to more than 10 billion rubles. We are talking about large theft during the construction of the facility and non-payment of wages to workers.
The actual construction of the second stage of the cosmodrome started in May 2019 and should be completed this August. However, already in 2020, information appeared on the website of the state corporation Roscosmos that all the necessary related infrastructure for launching heavy Angara rockets (the Angara launch complex is a key facility in the second stage of construction) could be put into operation no earlier than 2025 of the year. It is worth clarifying that such large Russian companies as Tyazhmash JSC, Uralkriomash JSC and Zvyozdochka Ship Repair Center JSC are taking part in the work. The Kazan Production and Construction Association was chosen as the general contractor, the contract for 39,4 billion rubles was signed in October 2018.
During 2019, the media repeatedly received statements about the likely change of the company involved in the implementation of the project, the reasons for possible changes, according to some officials, are its unpreparedness for such a long project, the “difficult” financial situation and dissatisfaction with the pace of construction on the part of the customer. In 2021, another scandal shook one of the largest construction projects in the country, Dmitry Rogozin, the general director of Roscosmos, fired the head of the Directorate of the Vostochny Cosmodrome, Yevgeny Rogoza, due to the lack of control over the movement of budget funds. In addition, Vladimir Zhuk, the chief engineer of the Center for the Operation of Ground-Based Space Infrastructure, was arrested on suspicion of abuse of office.
Not far off is the construction of the third stage of the cosmodrome, which previously included the construction of launch complexes for the Yenisei super-heavy rocket and the medium Soyuz-5. However, after consultations with scientists and specialists, it was decided to suspend the creation of a superheavy carrier, devoting the third stage of the project to the construction of the launch pad for Amur-LNG. Active construction work within the next stage should start immediately after the completion of the second phase. Initially, it was assumed that the third stage of construction would be completed in 2025-2026, but in this matter, much rests on the readiness of the Angara launch complex, after which the process of implementing the third stage should be launched. So, in 2021, Ravil Ziganshin, General Director of the PSO Kazan, told Vladimir Putin that the construction of one of the facilities of the second stage of the Vostochny cosmodrome is going with some delay due to adverse weather conditions, however, assuring that all work will be completed on time.
The amount of funds allocated for the implementation of such a large facility is also striking. In 2011, the director of the Federal Agency for Special Construction, Grigory Naginsky, said that the construction of the spaceport would cost the Russian Federation 300 billion rubles. In 2016, the cost of the constructed facilities was 84 billion rubles.
One cannot ignore the fact that the creation of the Vostochny cosmodrome is a tool for our country to solve various political, economic and social tasks. Thus, the new site will reduce by an order of magnitude the possible risks associated with Russia's lease of the Baikonur cosmodrome from Kazakhstan. Also, the implementation of this project will make it possible to demonstrate to the world community the stability of the functioning and survivability of the domestic space industry. In addition, we should not forget that the construction of a new cosmodrome on this territory will give impetus to the socio-economic development of the country's Far Eastern macro-region, conditions will be created for the deployment of high-tech industries and strengthening the potential of scientific enterprises.
Everyone knows that no project of this magnitude can do without serious problems, which has been observed and is still observed during the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome. Corruption scandals related to the embezzlement of public funds surfaced on an ongoing basis. Various technical shortcomings and errors occurred with enviable regularity in the design, working and estimate documentation, leading to delays in wages and strikes among the staff.
Summing up, we can say that the Vostochny Cosmodrome is a clear example of a global project, the implementation of which will definitely expose the structural problems that exist in the economy of any country. It is the understanding and overcoming of the emerging difficulties that should make it possible to turn grandiose plans into an existing reality.