Kazakhstan to pay $20 million to send its cosmonaut to ISS23 july 2015, 14:49
The program for Aidyn Aimbetov, Kazakhstan’s cosmonaut set to fly to the ISS in September, will be ready within the set timeframe, Igor Komarov, Head of Russia’s Roskosmos National Space Agency, announced today.
“We have no doubts (…) the program will be ready (…) the flight is to be fully financed by the Kazakh side, all the major parameters of the flight have been discussed. All the ISS project participants have agreed to some changes into the program of the flight”, Russia’s RIA Novosti cited him as saying.
A day before KazKosmos, Kazakhstan’s National Space Agency, said to journalists of Newskaz.ru that Kazakhstan was studying possible mechanisms to finance the flight.
Earlier KazKosmos had reported that sending the cosmonaut to the ISS would cost $20 million, 2.5 times less than the world's best-selling soprano Sarah Brightman was supposed to pay as a paying guest aboard the International Space Station. Back in May singer Sarah Brightman announced that she was postponing plans to go into space. Brightman said she was putting her spaceflight on hold for personal and family reasons, and she postponed her cosmonaut training and flight plans. Satoshi Takamatsu, the Japanese astronaut backing up British singer Sarah Brightman on the flight to the International Space Station, also reportedly couldn’t join the crew.
Aidyn Aimbetov will be serving as a second flight engineer working on the national research program.
Up to now two Kazakhstan-born cosmonauts have been to the outer space. Tokhtar Aubakirov flew aboard Soyuz TM-13 as a researcher in October 1991, and Talgat Mussabayev served as a flight engineer on a flight to Mir station in 1994 and as a mission commander on flights to Mir and the ISS in 1998 and 2001 respectively.
Two Kazakhstan cosmonaut prospects - Mukhtar Aimakhanov and Aidyn Aimbetov - completed their trainings for space flights at Gagarin State-run Center for Cosmonaut Training back in 2007. One of them was supposed to fly to the ISS as part of an international crew in 2009, however, Kazakhstan postponed the plans due to austerity measures against the backdrop of the global financial crisis.