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Russia’s State Space Agency Head to visit Kazakhstan to discuss the drop zone for rocket debris

30 may 2012, 15:10
0
Baikonur cosmodrome. RIA Novosti©
Baikonur cosmodrome. RIA Novosti©
Roskosmos (Russia’s State Space Agency) Head Vladimir Popovkin is expected to visit Kazakhstan soon to discuss a possible long-term agreement regulating launches of Russian rockets from Baikonur cosmodrome, Newskaz.ru reports, citing Russia’s RIA Novosti.

“Following the Kazakh-Russian talks May 29 during Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Kazakhstan (…) Roskosmos Head is to visit Kazakhstan upon respective invitation of the Kazakhstan’s PM Karim Massimov”, RIA Novosti reported, quoting a representative of the Russian delegation accompanying PM Medvedev on his visit.

According to him, “plans are there to secure a long-term agreement so that not to obtain a permit for each individual launch”.

Tengrinews.kz reported earlier that Kazakhstan and Russia have been unable to come to terms over the drop zone for rocket debris. The launches that are set to be shelved or already postponed for this reason are the launch of European meterorological satellite MetOp-B that had been due May 23, the launch of Belarussian, Canadian, German and two Russian satellites on June 7.

Baikonur is the first and largest cosmodrome in the world. Located in Kazakhstan, it is rented out to Russia till 2050.

Baikonur is closer to the Equator than other launch sites – a situation that facilitates geostationary orbit or orbits less inclined to reach the International Space Station (ISS). This privileged geographic placement enables the launch of more significant payloads.

The cosmodrome has been rented out since 1994. Annual rent stands at $115 million. $50 million is transferred annually to maintain the infrastructure.

Russia would keep on cooperating with Kazakhstan at the Baikonur cosmodrome while the Russia-based Vostochnyi cosmodrome is gaining momentum, Tengrinews.kz reported mid-April, citing Russia’s Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin as saying following a sitting on the national space industry presided over by PM Valdimir Putin.

Mr. Rogozin emphasized at that time that not a single space power operates from other countries’ cosmodromes.

“In fact, Russia will be operating from two major cosmodromes – Plesetsk and Vostochnyi. The first has to do with defense projects (…), whereas Vostochny (…) is about ambitious projects, including lunar projects (…)”, he said.

“In the meantime [while the Vostochnyi cosmodrome is being developed], we will be operating from the modernized launch pads at Baikonur. We are currently negotiating with Kazakhstan over the whole range of space projects, while strengthening Russia’s full independence in terms of space projects and launch pads of its own”.

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