Vostochny Space Launch Center

How a rocket reaches Russia’s first civilian launch site
RuРусская версия
From Plant to Space Launch Center
Since the Soviet Union, the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan has been the site of most civilian Russian space launches. Russia needed its own space center for independent space missions. In 2007, President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order on establishing the Vostochny Space Launch Center, the most advanced space facility in the world. Construction of the center began in 2011 in the Amur Region.

The first launch from the new cosmodrome took place on April 28, 2016, with the Soyuz 2.1A rocket successfully taking off. But before reaching the launch pad the rocket made a long way to go.

Progress Plant

The Soyuz 2.1A launch vehicle that orbits a payload is assembled at the Progress Plant in Samara. The rocket is tested, painted, dismantled and loaded onto a special train for the space center

Assembly in Omsk

Production site of Angara carrier rockets, which will also lift off from Vostochny, will be relocated from Moscow to Omsk to reduce the distance to the launch center and delivery expenses

Height of rocket
that has been

length of train
carrying dissembled
Rocket at the space center
The space center is a new construction near the Svobodny military space center, which was shut down in 2007. The location was chosen for its proximity to the Equator which makes it possible to orbit more payloads as well as for safety reasons - spent rocket stages will fall into the sparsely populated taiga and the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, there is no need to agree on rocket stage disposal areas with other countries.

Trains alone deliver rockets to Russian space centers. An airfield will be built in Vostochny to deliver satellites and other equipment for future manned missions.

Tsiolkovsky town

The rocket train arrives at a railway station in the town of Tsiolkovsky, formerly Uglegorsk. An academic village for over 25,000 people will be built here in the next few years

Communications center

It receives data from launched rockets, boosters and spacecraft. On July 17, 2015, the new space center hosted the first communications session, with operators receiving telemetric data from the International Space Station

Technical facility

Rockets are reassembled at the vehicle assembly and testing building. Satellites to be launched at the site are prepared in another section of the building

700 кm²
The space center’s
total area
Various buildings
and facilities
at the space center
Rocket assembly and testing
The technical facility for servicing rockets and satellites was built with the latest technology. One of the all-glass walls is seven-stories high and provides natural light.

The mobile umbilical tower also boasts state-of-the-art technology. This “building on rails” moves toward the rocket on the launch pad prior to liftoff and provides access to the rocket’s systems.
Delivering the rocket to the launch pad
and liftoff
The rocket’s nose section is assembled at the technical facility after the spacecraft and booster are fueled. The rocket is loaded on a special rail transporter and moved to the launch pad.

The rocket is positioned vertically at the launch pad. The mobile umbilical tower is then hooked up to the rocket, the mains are connected, and the launch vehicle is fueled. 60 minutes before fueling is complete, the umbilical tower is moved back 80 meters from the launch pad. The rocket is ready for liftoff!
launch vehicle
In use since 2004
Liquid oxygen
Liftoff weight
312 metric tons
bln rubles
cost of one
Payload weight
Low orbit
7.4 metric tons
Geostationary transfer orbit
4.2 metric tons
Geostationary orbit
0.5 metric tons
New Soyuz
The Soyuz-2.1A rocket was upgraded for future launches from Vostochny. Its cable system was shortened, a new onboard computer installed, and a more advanced oxygen steam discharge unit installed
Adapter truss
I stage
III stage
II stage
Mikhailo Lomonosov satellite
Volga orbiter
(fuel – heptyl)
Oxidizer tanks
Rudder combustion chambers
SamSat-218 satellite
Aist-2D satellite
Fuel tank
Fuel tanks
Sustainer engine combustion chambers
First launch
The Soyuz 2.1A took off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome on April 28, 2016, at 05.01 Moscow time. The launch was a success, and the Soyuz rocket safely delivered three satellites to orbit: Mikhail Lomonosov, Aist-2D and SamSat-218D
The space center’s future
The opening of the space center and the first launch from it are historic events for Russia. But the space center will continue to be developed.

A launch pad for heavy-duty Angara launch vehicles will be built by 2021. Unlike the Proton, the Angara can orbit heavier payloads and uses non-toxic fuel. After 2030, the space center will be able to launch super-heavy rockets, including those for lunar missions.
Aleksandr Bogachev


Anna Osyuk

Alexei Ptitsyn,
Nika Milovidova

3D graphics:
Maxim Petrov

Maxim Shishkin,
Vladimir Kononov
Filipp Terekhov

Creative Director:
Alexander Vershinin

Studio Supervisor:
Mikhail Simakov

Art Director:
Anton Stepanov

Vasily Grodsky