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Russia Postpones First Launch from New Spaceport

A Russian Soyuz rocket, center in the background, carrying satellites stands on the launch pad at the new Vostochny Cosmodrome near Uglegorsk, the city in eastern Siberia in the Amur region, Russia, April 27, 2016.

The first rocket launch from Russia's new cosmodrome, Vostochny, has been postponed one day for technical reasons.

Russian media reported early Wednesday that the launch of a Soyuz rocket carrying three satellites was stopped just minutes before takeoff from the site where construction has been delayed by numerous problems.

A second attempt at the launch is scheduled for the same time Thursday -- 11:01 a.m. local time. President Vladimir Putin has traveled to the cosmodrome to witness the inaugural launch.

The Vostochny spaceport in Russia's far eastern Amur region has been hailed by the Kremlin as a major step forward, and a means to reduce Russia's dependence on the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan. Russia has been forced to pay rent for the use of Baikonur at the rate of $115 million a year since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Vostochny is one of Russia's biggest building projects, with a budget of up to $6 billion.

But Russian officials say they will continue to use Baikonur for manned missions until 2023. Thursday's launch is the only one planned this year from Vostochny.