Source AP ©

Russia plans to build new space launch site by 2020

Russia's space agency chief said Friday the country is planning to build a new space launch site in the Far East by 2020, Russian news agencies reported.

"We must have and develop a space site in the Far East for launches of space vehicles for civilian purposes and to launch manned space missions," Roscosmos chief Anatoly Perminov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Perminov said the new space site will have to be built by 2020 to be used for launches of a new manned spacecraft that Russia is planning under a state space program that runs through 2040.

He said experts were looking at six potential sites for the new cosmodrome. He did not specify the location of any of those.

Currently Russia launches all manned missions from the Soviet-built Baikonur site in Kazakhstan, in Central Asia.

Perminov said Friday the new space site was not being designed as an alternative to Baikonur and Russia intended to continue using it "in its full capacity."