|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Russia Moves Ahead with New Space Launch Center
July 20 (EIRNS)Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday announced that his government will allocate the funding needed to start construction of the new Vostochny [Eastern] Space Center in Russia's Far East, beginning next year. "The government decided to allocate, over the next three years, 24.7 billion rubles [about US$811 million] for the beginning of the full-scale construction of the Vostochny Space Center," Putin said, Novosti reported. He was speaking at the headquarters of the Energia space corporation in the Moscow region. These funds will create the necessary base for the project, Putin said. "I hope that the Vostochny Space Center will become the first civilian national space center, and [will] guarantee full independence of Russia's space activities," Putin added. Construction should be completed by 2015.
Lyndon LaRouche emphasized the contrast between the Russian decision to start building this important project for space exploration, while the Obama government is only generating more empty space.
The Prime Minister said that, "It is important that the new space center will provide service for all prospective space projects, including a manned transport system, new-generation boosters and future interplanetary complexes." The space center will increase the industrial capacity of the Far East and encourage more investment in this huge, strategic region. Putin also stressed to the officials of Energia and the Russian Space Agency, that they must intensify cooperation with counterpart companies and agencies in the European Union, Japan, China, and the United States. Last September, deputy Presidential representative to the Far East Alexander Levintal called on U.S. businessmen to expand their currently low investment levels in the Russian Far East, to projects in infrastructure and space (see EIR, Jan. 15, 2010).
Federal Space Agency Roscosmos director Anatoly Perminov said construction work will employ up to 30,000 people. The cosmodrome will be built near Uglegorsk, about 100 km from the border with China.
In 2007, the head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, Anatoly Perminov, stated that Russia must build a new cosmodrome, as Russia needed to develop an alternative to the former Soviet space center at Baikonur in Kazakhstan. Then-President Putin signed a decree to develop the eastern cosmodrome in November 2007, and work has continued since then to develop the project.
A discussion of the full strategic importance of this project for Russia, Eurasia, and the U.S. and Canada, was presented to the Schiller Institute conference in Germany in September 2007 (see "Space Industry Cluster in Russia's Amur Region," EIR, Sept. 28, 2007).
Russia To Produce Fuel for Floating Nuclear Plants
July 22 (EIRNS)Russian nuclear fuel fabricator TVEL announced today that its Mashinostroitelny Zavod (MSZ) subsidiary will produce the first batch of nuclear fuel in 2011 for Russia's first floating nuclear power plant. The completed hull of the first floating plant, the Akademician Lomonosov, was launched on June 30 at the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in St. Petersburg. The vessel will house two 35-MW KLT-40S nuclear reactors, similar to those used in Russia's nuclear-powered ice breakers. Rosatom plans to load the fuel into the two reactors by 2012, after which the vessel will be towed for deployment in Vilyuchinsk, in the Kamchatka region in Russia's Far East. At the same time, the Chukotka Autonomous District announced that oceanographers and geophysicists are scoping out a site for another floating plant near the port of Pevek on the East Siberian Sea.
Russian Government To Revive Caspian Sea Monster
July 22 (EIRNS)Russia is renewing some key transport technology developed under the Soviet Union. On July 15, Russia Today reported that the government has commissioned the renewal of the famous "Caspian Sea Monster," the legendary ekranoplane, or GEV (ground effect vehicle) developed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s. These are very large cargo vehicles, almost a flying ship, capable of carrying heavy loads just above the sea (or level land) surface, much faster than ships can travel. The technology will be developed by the Russian Alekseyev Design and Construction bureau, which had produced the first examples of the technology. A new, large model will be ready for testing in 2012. The ekranoplane's special wings create an air cushion which holds the vehicle above the surface; theoretically, at least, the larger the vehicle, the better it will fly.