Not a single space power operates from other countries’ cosmodromes: Russia's Vice PM 13 апреля 2012, 12:20
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Baikonur cosmodrome. RIA Novosti©
Russia will keep on cooperating with Kazakhstan at the Baikonur cosmodrome while the Russia-based Vostochnyi cosmodrome is gaining momentum, RIA Novosti reports, citing Russia’s Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin following a sitting on the national space industry presided over by PM Valdimir Putin.
He emphasized 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”.
April 12, 2012 Tengrinews.kz reported, citing RosCosmos Space Agency Vice Head Aleksandr Lopatin as saying in an interview for Kommersant.ru that Cosmodrome Baikonur has been overstretched for the recent years.
“Baikonur is rented from Kazakhstan. It is a unique facility enabling to accomplish the whole range of tasks. However friendly Kazakhstan may be, the facility is a rented one. It is a political issue. I don’t mean that Kazakhstan may abruptly “cut off the oxygen” for Russia (…) All leading space powers of the world do have cosmodromes of their own. Vostochnyi cosmodrome based in Russia to some extent will be duplicating functions of Baikonur in terms of sending payloads to all types of orbits … Vostochnyi cosmodrome will be capable of supporting all the Russia’s federal space projects, including defense projects”, he said.
Tengrinews.kz reported late September 2011 that in 2011 Russia was to pay a total of $116.9 million in rent, with another $25 million in rent for military testing sites.
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. Russia pays in military equipment. $50 million is transferred annually to maintain the infrastructure.