New Kazakh-Russian manned rocket to be launched earlier than scheduled

ASTANA – ­­Kazakhstan and Russia have agreed to accelerate implementing the Baiterek project and reschedule the new manned rocket’s launch from 2025 to 2022. The announcement was made June 13 at the fifth session of the Kazakh-Russian Intergovernmental Commission for the Baikonur complex.

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Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister Askar Mamin and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin chaired the event to discuss the concept of further cooperation at the complex and the protocol on amendments to the interstate agreement on the status of Baikonur city. Both documents were signed during Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s working visit to Russia in December 2016.

“These are strategic documents and they define our intentions in the long term to jointly develop and use the cosmodrome, to implement new space projects that will be beneficial for both countries and to develop the city of Baikonur,” said Mamin.

The concept provides the solution to the main functioning issues of the complex and implementing joint projects, in particular the creation of the Baiterek space rocket complex.

“We support the proposal of the Russian side to accelerate the implementation of the Baiterek project and reschedule the launch of the new rocket from 2025 to 2022,”he said.

“The concept also includes a set of measures to develop Baikonur city’s infrastructure, create a favourable social and economic environment and new jobs, provide housing, develop tourism, etc.,” he added.

The session also included discussions about withdrawing from the renting process and writing off and recycling unused facilities at the complex. A decision was reached Dec. 20, 2016 for a pilot project to dispose of the unused Russian facilities.

The draft of Baikonur city’s joint development programme for 2017-2025 was also discussed.

“We attach great importance to the development and adoption of this programme. Its implementation will allow the city to function steadily by developing engineering and social infrastructure and creating new social, cultural and production facilities,” said Mamin, stressing the need to ensure the high quality of the document and its execution.

In the third quarter of the year, the sides are planning to sign a bilateral document on medical care for residents of Baikonur city and the villages of Akai and Toretam.

Issues related to city development financing by the Kazakh side were addressed. Particular attention was paid to items of environmental safety at the cosmodrome.

“We have a common task to continue and deepen cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia in the space industry,” said Rogozin during the talks.

“Joint work on organising Baikonur’s effective functioning is aimed at developing the space industries of the two countries and preserving Baikonur as a modern cosmodrome that is competitive in the global space services market,” noted Mamin.

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