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LAUNCH PAD
Kazakh Space Launch Project Delayed Until 2017

File image.
by Staff Writers
Almaty, Kazakhstan (XNA) Apr 15, 2011
The commissioning of a key space launch facility has been postponed again to 2017 due to errors in the draft design and slow progress in relevant flight tests, a Kazakh national space agency official said Tuesday.

The Baiterek project, co-launched in 2004 by Kazakhstan and Russia, will serve to launch new environmentally safe rockets to phase out older boosters at the Baikonur Cosmodrome that used highly toxic propellant.

The Kazakh and Russian space agencies first agreed in January to put off the Baiterek commissioning date until 2015 due to insufficient funding.

"Over the period from 2004 to 2010, the project costs have increased significantly. The commission date has also been moved further to 2017," said Meyrbek Moldabekov, deputy chairman of the National Space Agency of Kazakhstan (Kazcosmos).

Moldabekov said the delay was caused by slow progress in flight tests of Russia's new carrier rocket Angara, the main type of rocket that will be used at Baiterek.

"In addition, the errors in the initial draft design of Baiterek have led to the need to change the location and build a separate technical center," the official said.

Moldabekov added that so far "nothing beyond the design work has been done" in the project.

The Baiterek complex was originally expected to launch its first rocket in 2014. The Kazakh government has allocated a loan of 223 million U.S. dollars for the project.



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LAUNCH PAD
Putin Urges Ukraine To Join New Russian Space Center Project
Kiev, Ukraine (RIA Novosti) Apr 13, 2011
Ukraine should participate in the construction of the Vostochny Space Center in Russia's Far East, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in Kiev on Tuesday. Russia currently uses two launch sites: Baikonur in Kazakhstan, which it has leased since the end of the Soviet Union, and Plesetsk in northwest Russia. Putin said construction work at the new space center had already started. "You ... read more







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