Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Russia to Stay in Baikonur

From the Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS) website:

Russia will never leave the Baikonur cosmodrome rented in Kazakhstan, even upon the completion of its new Vostochny space launch site, the head of Russia's Space agency Roscosmos said on Monday.

Anatoly Perminov told local media that "We will not abandon Baikonur till the end of times...space cooperation with Kazakhstan would be gradually switched to the entirely commercial tracks."

According to Perminov, Kazakhstan has already offered Russia to use one of Baikonur's launching pads for commercial launches after Russia's shift to the Vostochny cosmodrome of its main space operation, Peopledaily.com reports

In addition, Perminov revealed that Russia plans to use the Kourou launch site in French Guiana this year, and eyes cooperation agreements with Israel, Vietnam, Nigeria, Belarus, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

The Vostochny cosmodrome is being constructed in Amur region, which would become Russia's point of origin for space travels to the Moon planned by 2025.

Ros—Āosmos plans to complete the building of Vostochny infrastructure by the end of 2011, Perminov said.