Kazakhstan’s Parliament calls for greater Baikonur rent payments 20 сентября 2011, 12:20
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RIA Novosti ©
Kazakhstan’s Parliamentarians believe the $115 million paid by Russia to rent the Baikonur cosmodrome is no longer enough, Profinance.kz reports. In particular, parliamentarian Serik Temirbulatov representing the Nur Otan ruling party believes the amount is outdated as it was set back in 1994.
According to him, “the annual number of launches from Baikonur has been on the rise. So has the damage to the country’s environment. $115 million is not an adequate amount for the damage inflicted”.
Talgat Mussabayev, Head of KazKosmos National Space Agency, said in his turn that rent-related issues should be considered by the Finance Ministry rather than by the Space Agency.
Mr. Temirbulatov disagreed, arguing that “the Agency is in the right position to raise the issue of rent hike”.
In 2011 Russia is 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.