Mikhail Vardanyan Named New Head of Baikonur Space Center

MOSCOW — Russian space industry veteran Mikhail Vardanyan has been appointed the new head of the Baiknour Cosmodrome, the space agency Roscosmos said.

The 54 year old Vardanyan has spent his entire career in the industry, including 30 years at the Kazakhstan based Baikonur launch facility as a military engineer and manager, according to a statement on Roscosmos website.

The previous head of the facility, Yevgeny Anisimov, stepped down for personal reasons, according to Roscosmos.

Unverified sources say that Russian’s Police uncovered $456,000 Baiknour Space Center theft.

A new space center, Vostochny, is being built in Eastern Russia to reduce dependence on Baiknour. The new facility is planned to host the Angara rocket, now under development for both satellite and manned launches.

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