Vostochny Cosmodrome

The Vostochny Cosmodrome has recently gained international attention as it hosted a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin, marking their first meeting in four years. This space launch facility, located in Russia’s Far East, plays a crucial role in the country’s space endeavors.

This topic of “Vostochny Cosmodrome” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

What is Vostochny Cosmodrome?

Vostochny Cosmodrome, whose name translates to “Eastern Cosmodrome,” is a major satellite launch facility situated in the Amur region of Russia’s Far East. It serves as a critical hub for Russia’s space exploration efforts and is designed to reduce the nation’s reliance on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This transition became necessary after Kazakhstan gained independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Significance of Vostochny Cosmodrome

Russia’s Most Modern Space Rocket Launch Site

Vostochny Cosmodrome stands as Russia’s most modern and advanced space rocket launch site. Its state-of-the-art infrastructure and strategic location make it a vital asset for Russia’s space program.

Location of Vostochny Cosmodrome

Vostochny Cosmodrome is strategically positioned in the Amur region of Russia’s Far East, close to the border with China. It is situated approximately 1,500 kilometers from the port city of Vladivostok, making it well-connected for logistical purposes.

When Did Vostochny Cosmodrome Become Operational?

Vostochny Cosmodrome became operational in 2016, marking a significant milestone in Russia’s space exploration efforts.

Notable Facts

  1. The first launch from Vostochny Cosmodrome took place in 2016 when a Soyuz-2 rocket was used.
  2. A notable recent launch from the cosmodrome involved a Soyuz rocket carrying the Luna-25 moon spacecraft. Unfortunately, this mission ended in disappointment as the spacecraft crashed into the moon.
  3. There was a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) base named Svobodny 18 located in close proximity to the cosmodrome. However, this base was closed in 1993.
  4. It’s worth noting that North Korea’s latest Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) utilizes solid rocket fuel, marking a technological advancement for the nation’s missile program.

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