At an official ceremony in Moscow’s planetarium today, Russian PM Vladimir Putin awarded a team of Russian cosmonauts – Alexei Leonov, Valery Bykov, Boris Volynov, Viktor Gorbatko and Valentina Tereshkova – a special award for contributing to Russian manned space flights, forging international space ties and popularizing the country’s achievements in space research.
This special 1 million’s fund was established in 2011 to mark the 50’s anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned flight.
PM Putin then held a meeting on long-term space exploration, which was largely hinged on Russia’s space base facilities. He urged to keep up with the construction schedule for the Vostochny launch facilities, stressing the government was ready to allocate sufficient funds to provide all ensuing housing and social services.
Putin also vowed to be paying special attention to revamping the old space ports of Plesetsk and Baikonur and once more reiterated that the former will be equipped to launch heavy and light versions of the Angara carrier rockets by as early as 2013.
The premier referred to the Baikonur cosmodrome as the “busiest” space center, having launched over 1,500 space vehicles over the period of 50 years. It is now effectively used in commercial space projects.
Based on materials by Russian news agencies