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Russia May Open New Space Launch Site

File photo of a launch at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Mar 01, 2007
Russia may open a new launch site for manned space missions, the head of the Russian space agency said Wednesday. Russia currently launches manned space mission from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. Another launch site in Russia's Plesetsk only handles unmanned space missions.

"This is about a new location for piloted space launches on Russian territory," Anatoly Perminov said. "I will be able to provide more information on the proposed location of the new launch site in a few weeks as we need to be extremely thorough before selecting any new site."

Russia leases the Baikonur space center from the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan at $115 million per year. In June 2005 the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, ratified an agreement between Russia and Kazakhstan on extending Russia's lease of the Baikonur space launch facility until 2050.

Perminov said that the planned launch site will not be in competition with Baikonur.

"We have wonderful relations with Kazakhstan and I do not think that will change," he said.

"But we need to look to the future and develop our own piloted cosmonautics," Perminov said. "It is reasonable to have a launch site on the Russian territory."

He added that the proposal of the Russian Space Agency will be sent to the government.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Hyundai To Build First South Korea Launch Pad
Seoul (AFP) Feb 27, 2007
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, said Tuesday it had won an order to build South Korea's first space rocket launch pad. The contract from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute calls for a launch platform and related facilities at the Naro Space Center on a southern island off the town of Goheung.

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