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Russia's Bid to Win New Space Race Isn't Going to Plan

The official cost estimate of $7.5 billion makes the cosmodrome almost four times as expensive as the Kennedy Space Center



    AFP/Getty Images, File
    A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying lifts off at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia on April 28, 2016.

    Russia is building a spaceport designed to reinstate it at the forefront of cosmic travel and evoke its 1950s Soviet heyday when Moscow put the first human in orbit.

    But five years after construction began, NBC News reports that the Vostochny Cosmodrome is behind schedule, billions of dollars over budget, and dogged by accusations that officials have embezzled funds and did not pay workers for months at a time.

    The complex in Russia's Far East designed to launch missions to the Moon and Mars is on course to be the most expensive spaceport ever built.

    According to an expose by RBC published in July 2015, the original cost of the facility was supposed to be just $1.9 billion in today's prices. The spiraling price tag — $7.5 billion according to an official estimate in 2011 — makes it almost four times as expensive as NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.