Kazakhstan Broadens Scope of Space Programme

ASTANA – Many changes and upgrades are being planned for Kazakhstan’s National Space Programme. First, changes will be implemented in the multi-vector development of space infrastructure, including the creation of a space communication and KazSat broadcasting system, a system of remote earth sensing (RES), construction of an assemblage-test facility and the Baiterek space and rocket complex and Kazakhstan’s participation in the commercial use of the Dnepr rocket carrier, Chairman of Kazkosmos Talgat Musabayev at the organisation’s board meeting revealed.

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During their recent meeting, Presidents Nazarbayev and Putin agreed to continue the joint space programmes’ development.

“KazSat-2 functions normally. All the satellite’s systems are stable. Today, the system load is more than 56 percent. Rental services of the satellite’s resources are granted to nine operators in Kazakhstan,” Musabayev noted in the progress report. “Currently, design and technical work on KazSat-3 projects have been completed, including on the payload, solar devices and service systems of the satellite.”

In 2014, the space agency will be actively involved in the design and manufacture of commercial satellite KazSat-3 and commissioning a reserve ground control communication complex near Almaty. There are also plans to test a remote sensing system, in particular to launch a RES spacecraft of medium spatial resolution.

The launch of KazSat-3 is scheduled for the first quarter of 2014, concurrent with the launch of the Russian space module Luch 5B from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

“Development of space infrastructure on the basis of modern technical achievements is the future of the most knowledge-intensive industry of the national economy,” Musabayev said at the meeting.

As for strategic direction, the agency is involved in developing scientific and technological bases, forming the system of environmental regulation of space activities, international cooperation and developing human resources.

The head of Kazkosmos also added that “at present they are considering options for the use of the Zenit rocket (as part of the Baiterek complex). That leaves the question of Kazakhstan’s participation in commercial use of the Dnepr carrier rocket.

“I would like once again to officially confirm our unconditional commitment to the agreements signed by the leaders of Russia and Kazakhstan in 2004 to extend the term of the lease of Baikonur Cosmodrome up to 2050,” Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov said, summing up discussions on the future of the domestic space industry.

“All possible problems are discussed within the framework of the intergovernmental commission, which we head jointly with Igor Shuvalov,” Kelimbetov said. “Negotiations are also held at the level of the space agencies of the two countries. Thus, they were instructed to prepare agreements on the joint use of Baikonur, the development of its scientific and technological capacity and on the training and participation of Kazakhstan’s specialists in launch services. All disputed issues can be solved through constructive negotiations, in particular the issue of reducing rocket launches with highly toxic fuels that are harmful for the environment in Kazakhstan. According to the agreement, the Russian side pledged to help reduce the launch of Proton carrier rockets, which adversely affect the environment. For my part, I would like to say that our main task is to protect and defend the national interests of Kazakhstan with respect to the interests of our strategic partner.”