Vostochny Cosmodrome

During 2015, the construction of the first launch pad at Russia's newest space center was scheduled to be completed to host the first launch of the Soyuz rocket before the end of the year. Given the enormous amount of already finished and yet-to-be completed work, as well as previous experience with similar projects, it would be a remarkable achievement for Russian workers and engineers. For decades, Soviet soldiers and officers and later their Russian civilian successors had to brave winter cold and summer heat preparing Soyuz rockets for launch on open-air gantries in Baikonur and Plesetsk. But in a sign how times have changed, the new generation of rocketeers will be protected from snow and rain with a climate-controlled tower completely enclosing the Soyuz rocket before liftoff from its newest launch pad at Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome.