Kazakhstan does not plan to lower the rent it is charging Russia for the Baikonur space center, the head of Kazakh company Kazkosmos said Tuesday, reports RIA Novosti.
Baikonur is the world's largest space launch facility and plays an important role in the International Space Station project. The Russian Federal Space Agency plans to launch the Venus Express orbiter from the space center by November 25.
"The leasing rate of Baikonur is in fact $350 million per year. Since Kazakhstan is on friendly terms with Russia, we agreed to lease it for $115 million," Serik Turzhanov said.
According to Turzhanov, the center is now worth $23 billion.
Kazakhstan intends to work with Russia on Baikonur. In particular, an agreement has been reached with Russian companies through which Kazakh specialists will take part in building space vehicles at the center, Turzhanov said.
"Russia will benefit from this since it will save $3-5 million on each space vehicle," he said.
Russia will also be able to reduce the number of its specialists working at Baikonur, as Kazakh specialists increase their contribution, he said.
Kazakhstan Opens Exhibition Showing Space Industry First Time
Astana opens on Tuesday the exhibition "Industrial and innovative Kazakhstan", presenting the republic's space industry for the first time, reports Itar-Tass.
Opening the exhibition, Kazakh premier Danial Akhmetov said that Kazakhstan placed 61 in the world in the rating of competitiveness, "outstripping all the CIS countries". The republic readies for implementation of 11 innovative projects worth 2.5 billion US dollars.
The exhibition put on show for the first time an array of displays, depicting the burgeoning Kazakh space industry. Visitors will see information on the KazSat satellite to be developed for Kazakhstan by the Russian Khrunichev Space Center. There is also information on the Russian-Kazakh space system Baiterek (Poplar).
The Kazkosmos national company describes the main areas for the development of the space industry so as to ensure high living standards and security of Kazakh citizens, to develop scientific research and to create new technologies for space explorations.
Exhibition sponsors will hold the seminar "Implementation of the Strategy of Kazakhstan's industrial and innovative development in regions" as well as the contest "Kazakh best goods-2005".
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited on Tuesday the exhibition which is to last two days.
Speaking at the exhibition, first deputy director and general designer of the Moscow Thermal Technology Institute Alexander Dorofeyev said in an interview with Tass that Russia would help Kazakhstan to develop an aviation and missile space system called Ishim.
Kazakhstan now creates a monitoring system of oil and gas pipelines. For this purpose, the state intends to fire off two sounding satellites and six satellites to monitor the state of gas infrastructures. The Ishim system is the cheapest way of putting satellites into orbit. According to Dorofeyev, the launching of light satellites with the Ishim system is 66-75 percent cheaper than the present methods of riding light satellites into orbit.
Dorofeyev noted that the presentation of the system for the Kazakh side is preliminary planned for mid-November in Alma-Ata.
Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International
Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco