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KazKosmos doesn’t rule out launching Western space vehicles from Baikonur 30 октября 2013, 17:05

According to KazKosmos, Baikonur will retain its leading positions by the number of launches before 2022-2025.
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©RIA Novosti ©RIA Novosti
KazKosmos Kazakhstan’s National Space Agency doesn’t rule out launching Western space vehicles from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Tengrinews.kz reports. According to the Agency, many Western countries and CIS players have been interested in utilizing the cosmodrome. “Although the cosmodrome is being rented out to Russia, we don’t rule out that we could work jointly with Western countries if it is economically viable”, the Agency’s officials answered a Tengrinews.kz journalist. According to KazKosmos, Baikonur will retain its leading positions by the number of launches before 2022-2025. Russia will have completed construction of Vostochnyi cosmodrome in its own territory by 2015. KazKosmos experts believe the schedule of launches from Baikonur in the following years will depend on the progress of Russia’s plans to construct its own cosmodrome and commissioning of launch complexes: “it will take at least 10 years to ensure full commercial use of the new cosmodrome”. “Any drastic changes at Baikonur before Vostochny cosmodrome is fully competitive may lead Russia to losing its positions in the global market of commercial launches”, KazKosmos experts believe. They also elaborated that the high-tech equipment at Baikonur will be worn out by 2023. This factor was one of the major factors for Russia to consider when deciding on constructing Vostochnyi cosmodrome. “In this context KazKosmos is taking steps to develop the infrastructure, notably through Baiterek launch complex that will rely on more environment-friendly Zenith rocket carriers”. 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. The town accommodates over 70 000 people, with 37% being Russia’s citizens. About 4 000 Russia’s citizens are here almost permanently on business trips to facilitate space launches. The town budget receives over 1 billion roubles a year from the Russian federal budget. Russia’s Roskosmos Federal Space Agency spent over $33.3 million in 2012 to maintain infrastructure and space facilities at the Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported February 1, 2013, citing Yuzhny Space Center Evgeniy Anissimov as saying.
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