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Report: First Manned Space Launch From Russian Soil Postponed

A prominent newspaper reports the first manned launch from a new facility Russia is building will be held "after 2020," not in 2018 as planned.

The report in the daily Kommersant on April 17 came a day after President Vladimir Putin said Russia would build its own space station by 2023 to replace the International Space Station (ISS), a joint project with the United States and others.

Citing unnamed sources, Kommersant said Putin had approved a proposal to fit out the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Far East for launches of the Angara, a booster rocket that was first tested last year, but not for the existing Soyuz model.

It cited the head of Russian space agency Roskosmos, Igor Komarov, as saying on April 13 that the first Angara launch is planned for 2021.

Russia is building Vostochny in a bid to end its reliance on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for manned launches.

The project has been plagued by delays, wage disputes, and corruption allegations.

Twenty-six workers began a hunger strike on April 3 to demand overdue wages.

With reporting by the Telegraph