Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a signing ceremony following his meeting with Uzbek President Islam Karimov in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 26, 2016. (Maxim Shemetov/Pool Photo via AP)
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With moments to go before the launch of an unmanned Soyuz rocket, officials had to postpone it early Wednesday morning because a fault was uncovered with the rocket.The episode was the latest problem to beset Russia's space program, which Putin aims to revive as part of his push to restore Russia's military and technological might after years of post-Soviet neglect.Russia pioneered manned space flight when it fired Yuri Gagarin into space in 1961 .The first civilian rocket launch site on Russian territory, it is intended to phase out Russia's reliance on the Baikonur cosmodrome that Russia leases from ex-Soviet Kazakhstan.Speaking at the meeting with officials at Vostochny Wednesday, Putin said he was satisfied to note that the cosmodrome was now in working order.He said the technical glitch was to do with the rocket system, not the launch-pad, and that Russia still led the world in many aspects of space technology.
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