Russia planning modernization at Baikonur 18 июля 2011, 12:46
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Baikonur cosmodrome. Stock photo of Tengrinews.kz
Russia plans to use the Baikonur cosmodrome to 2050 and to modernize the facility, Interfax-Kazakhstan quoted Rockosmos (Russia’s Space Agency) Head Vladimir Popovkin as saying.
“Up to 2050 Russia plans to launch its space vehicles from Baikonur (…) another launch facility is going to be constructed for Soyuz-2 launch vehicles. In 2017 Russia in partnership with Kazakhstan will start Baiterek (“poplar tree”) space launch complex for the Russia's new booster rocket, the Angara”, Mr. Popovkin said.
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.