Baikonur Cosmodrome closes unnecessary launch pads
The oldest launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome - platform number 1, it is "Gagarin's Start" - decided to preserve as unnecessary and expensive upgrades. It is from this site April 12, 1961 launched the spacecraft "Vostok" with Yuri Gagarin on board, who became the first man in space. Now the commercial attractiveness of launches from Baikonur falls and playground becomes a burden.
"Gagarin's Start" actively used in the USSR. Now with him launching manned "Soyuz" and unmanned cargo "Progress" on the ISS. However, as write "News" to continue to use the platform number 1, it is necessary to conduct its modernization under the rocket "Soyuz-2", and it simply does not have the extra money because it's expensive, and not necessary. Such modernization held court number 31, and it is sufficient, given the current levels of start-up.
"for the existing scope of work will be enough one site. Therefore there is no need for the modernization and maintenance of the second set. Duplication launchers - a Soviet tradition. It has guaranteed starts even if one of the plants get damaged in the accident, - said the source of "Izvestia", familiar with the situation. - Launch Complex pays for itself only if it is made with no less than six launches per year, that is to recoup the ground infrastructure required Baikonur launches 12 "Unions" and 12 launches "Proton-M" in the course of the year. "
In 2017, Russia carried out eight missile launch "Soyuz" from Baikonur and four "Proton-M". In 2018 while flying two "Union" and one "Proton-M". The reason for reducing the frequency of starts is partly lies in the fact that a part of the "Union" is now taking off from the cosmodrome "East" and "Proton" became commercially unattractive due to a succession of accidents in recent years.