Russia launches 1st rocket from new space facility

AP , Thursday 28 Apr 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, addresses employees after a launch of a Russian Soyuz 2.1a rocket carrying Lomonosov, Aist-2D and SamSat-218 satellites at the new Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Uglegorsk, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the city of Blagoveshchensk in the far eastern Amur region Thursday, April 28, 2016 (Photo: AP)

Russia has successfully launched the first rocket from its new space facility after a last-minute delay the day before.

The Soyuz 2.1a booster blasted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far Easter in the early hours Moscow time on Thursday. The Roscosmos space agency said in a statement that the three satellites the rocket was carrying orbited several hours later.

The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday but was called off 1 ½ minute before the planned lift off. President Vladimir Putin flew to Vostochny for the launch and had to extend his stay in orrder to see it on Thursday.

The construction of the facility some 5,500 kilometers (3,500 miles) east of Moscow has been troubled by delays and corruption scandals.

Short link: