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KazKosmos willing to send a Kazakh cosmonaut to the International Space Station

28 july 2011, 03:11
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Talgat Mussabayev. By Yaroslav Radlovsky ©
Talgat Mussabayev. By Yaroslav Radlovsky ©
KazKosmos National Space Agency expects to send a Kazakh cosmonaut to the International Space Station, however the plan is hampered by the current lack of places aboard Soyuz spaceships, "Interfax Kazakhstan" reports.

“The issue of sending a Kazakh cosmonaut to the ISS is still on the agenda. We want it to be a long-term flight in the capacity of one of the crew”, Talgat Mussabayev, Head of KazKosmos, said.

He also mentioned that with the US shuttle program terminating all the crews will be delivered to the ISS by Soyuz spaceships. There is quite a long queue of Russian cosmonauts, US astronauts and space explorers from other countries using the ISS. Kazakhstan is not a partner of the ISS project yet, there is no reserved place for Kazakhstan. That is the major factor hampering a possible flight of a Kazakh cosmonaut”, Mussabayev added.

Talgat Mussabayev is a Kazakh test pilot and former cosmonaut who flew on three spaceflights. His first two spaceflights were long-duration stays aboard the Russian space station Mir. His third spaceflight was a short duration visiting mission to the International Space Station, which also carried the first paying space tourist Dennis Tito.

“You are not a baby. I am not a babysitter. I am commander. You are 'first cosmonaut tourist,' an 'engineer in education.' It is very important for mankind”, Newsweek quoted Talgat Musabayev, cosmonaut commander, regards Dennis Tito, as saying in April 2001.

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