Just after dawn on Dec. 23, 2018, the hangar doors on the Soyuz rocket integration facility in Vostochny opened, revealing a Soyuz-2.1a rocket, outfitted with a Fregat upper stage and 12-ft.-dia. (3.7-m) payload fairing, perched on its side atop a transporter-erector (TE).  Inside the sparkling new building a diesel-engine railcar started to move, pushing the TE along tracks that lead to a Soyuz launchpad 3 mi. away. The cavernous assembly building, part of sprawling 1.8-million-ft2. ...


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