We have no plans to abandon Baikonur: First Vice Director General of Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center 25 февраля 2014, 11:34
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Photo courtesy of Roskosmos
Russia has no plans of abandoning the Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome after Vostochny cosmodrome is launched in the Russian Far East, First Vice Director General Vladimir Nesterov of Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center [a Moscow-based producer of spacecraft] said.
“We have no plans to abandon Baikonur. Angara rocket family has to gain positive statistics (…)”, he said on air on Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio channel.
He emphasized that following the launch of Vostochny Russia “will enjoy certain freedom of maneuvers”.
Early February Russia and Kazkahstan signed a roadmap to jointly use Baikonur.
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 ($28.8 million) 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 [the then] head Evgeniy Anissimov as saying.