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Baikonur may become one of EXPO-2017 centers in Kazakhstan 26 марта 2013, 19:51

Baikonur space center is going to be part of the EXPO-2017 in Kazakhstan.
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At Baikonur cosmodrome. ©RIA Novosti At Baikonur cosmodrome. ©RIA Novosti
Baikonur complex that includes Baikonur town and Baikonur cosmodrome is going to be involved in hosting the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Kazakhstan, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports. "Several delegations have already visited Baikonur to evaluate the options to use the cosmodrome for the exhibition and the possible amount of funding required to take the town's infrastructure to the exhibition level," the source at the cosmodrome told Interfax-Kazakhstan. The speaker says that the exhibition's organizers have not yet made the final decision on the involvement of the world's biggest cosmodrome. He believes that the subject of the EXPO-2017, Energy of the Future, can be easily linked with space technologies, in particular with solar batteries used at the spacecrafts and are being used in other industries more and more frequently. "Highly-effective batteries also started as space technologies," but now their use is very common, the source said. Besides, he says that Baikonur is interesting by itself, as it turned into one of the global brands long time ago and its involvement in the exhibition will increase attractiveness of the EXPO. "It would be interesting for the exhibition's participants to visit Gagarin's launching pad, the cosmodrome's museum and other historical places of Baikonur," the speaker says. He believes that several space launches would surely be planned for the summer of 2017 and watching them would add up to the impressions from the exhibition. "Another advantage is that all the works on Western Europe-Western China road will be completed by that time. The road runs not far from Baikonur and makes the cosmodrome more accessible for cars," he says. What may complicate negotiations and lower the cosmodrome's chances of becoming the EXPO attraction is that Baikonur town and cosmodrome form up a complex rented by Russia from Kazakhstan until 2050 under a bilateral agreement. Exploitation of the cosmodrome costs Russia around 5 billion rubles ($162 million) per year. Baikonur is an administrative-territorial unit of Kazakhstan functioning under rental conditions.
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