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Vostochny space center construction back on track for 2015: Rogozin

MOSCOW, Dec. 29 — Workers at the Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East are picking up speed to finish the construction in time, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Monday.

“At present… we are fully convinced that there are all grounds [to meet the deadline] set by the presidential decree for the first launch of the Soyuz carrier rocket,” said Rogozin, who oversees Russia’s defense and space industry.

The project to build a space center in Russia’s Far East, initially estimated to cost 400 billion rubles ($ 7.1 billion at the current exchange rate), is scheduled for completion in July 2015.

The first launch of the Soyuz rocket is slated for December 2015, Rogozin said.

The project has been plagued by missed deadlines and a corruption scandal involving the former head of one of the project’s main contractors, who was arrested earlier this year on charges of embezzling 1.8 billion rubles ($ 32.1 million at the current exchange rate). (PNA/Sputnik)

LAP/SSC

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