First launch from new Russian spaceport delayed

MOSCOW (AP) — The launch of the first rocket from Russia’s new space facility has been delayed by a day after a last-minute problem.

The Wednesday launch of a Soyuz rocket carrying three satellites was to inaugurate space flight from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East. The facility is aimed at reducing Russia’s dependence on the Baikonur complex in Kazakhstan for its major launches.

The launch was scrubbed 1.5 minutes before the planned liftoff. Russian space agency Roscosmos says the launch has been rescheduled to Thursday.

Roscosmos’ deputy head Alexander Ivanov told the Tass news agency that the space agency is working to pinpoint what went wrong, but that the launch failure was not related to the facility’s infrastructure and he ruled out human factors.

Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists that President Vladimir Putin, who went to the Vostochny site to observe the launch, will stay at there until the rocket has been launched.