Russia to Launch First Manned Space Flight from its Soil in 2018
Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a live video link with the International Space Station, April 12, 2013.
VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, RUSSIA — President Vladimir Putin told astronauts in orbit on Friday that Russia will send up the first manned flights from its own soil in 2018, using a new launch pad he said will help the once-pioneering space power explore deep space and the moon.
April 12, 2013
Speaking by video link with the International Space Station's crew from the building site, Putin said it will be open to use by the United States and Europe, playing up cooperation on the anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's 1961 flight, which set off the Cold War space race.
But with the image of a fiery rocket launch as a backdrop, Putin also said he wants the Vostochny Cosmodrome to help Russia catch up with other powers in exploring beyond Earth's orbit.
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Sources: Reuters News Wire Service, Voice of America.
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