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Own satellites are a must for Kazakhstan: Musabayev

10 november 2013, 16:41
0
Photo © Baurbek Konyrov
Photo © Baurbek Konyrov
Talgat Musabayev, chief of Kazakhstan's space industry, has responded to the adversaries of space industry development in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports.

In December 2012, the chairperson of the Socio-Cultural Development Committee of the Majilis (Lower Chamber of the Parliament), Dariga Nazarbayeva expressed doubts concerning the need for the development of an independent space industry in Kazakhstan.

“How much money is being lost into the abyss. But for what? Many countries of the world are alive and well without a space industry of their own. If one needs a satellite – order it, buy it and have it launched,” said Dariga Nazarbayeva.

Chairman of the National Space Agency Talgat Musabayev used this week's meeting with students of the Eurasian National University as a platform to give a sarcastic but well-reasoned answer to his critics: "Indeed, why bother making satellites, lets just stick to sheep-breeding," he began by twisting the criticism,"Our own satellites are a mean to ensure security of our nation,” he continued.

According to Musabayev, reliance on foreign satellites threatens information security of a country. “The example is not far to seek, take Syria. Their president Bashar Asad has no means to address his nation neither using radio, nor the TV, because they relied on foreign satellites that could provide signal of a superior quality.” When a country doesn't not own its satellites and they are controlled by external forces, then these forces "can turn everything off whenever they need to," Mr. Musabayev explained adding that relying on foreign satellites is ill-considerate.

Kazakhstan currently has one satellite, but the national system requires a backup, so that Kazakhstan doesn't have to switch to foreign satellites in case of an emergency.

Despite the criticism Kazakhstan “is working on creation of its own space industry” and is building the infrastructure that has never before existed in the country, said the Chairman.

“In Akkol, 100 kilometers away from here (Astana) there is a ground control center. First, it is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Second, only local high-profile experts are working there, and there is not even a single foreigner,” told Mr. Musabayev, adding that a back-up ground control center has been put into operation near Almaty: "The back-up ground control center is in Ili Region, it is set up with the most advanced equipment. Even the Russian admire and envy it when they come to visit," he shared.

Referring to Baikonur Cosmodrome, Mr. Musabayev said that without Russian help successful operation of the space center would have been impossible.

"Here, we have Baikonur, it is our property, however, nobody is our name there so far.
“We cannot cope without Russia. Because Russia is the source of all the technology, space industry facilities and all the rocket stuff,” he emphasized.

"However, we have a common opinion with Russia at the level of the Presidents, that we need to create a joint launching center at our Baikonur," he added.

By Renat Tashkinbayev

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