MINSK, October 25 (Itar-Tass) —— A Belarusian Earth monitoring satellite will be launched in 2012, First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences Pyotr Vityaz told a Tuesday press conference.
“Space exploration is a very complex matter. Everything needs to be double-checked. I think we will launch the satellite next year,” he said. “The land-based infrastructure is ready although we still have some problems with the testing of control systems.”
Russian Space Systems Deputy General Director Anatoly Perminov said in turn that the land-based segment of the system was practically ready. The launch of Belarusian and Russian satellites is delayed with the unprepared software, which the British side is developing, he said.
The satellite platform is being tested, chief engineer of the Geo-Information Systems Research Company, deputy general designer of the Belarusian Earth observation system Oleg Semyonov said. “The platform we are testing is a totally new product, which requires numerous checks. The checks will be complete next year,” he said.
The creation of a Belarusian-Russian orbiting cluster is being discussed, he said. “Related documents need to be signed on the intergovernmental level. The network will incorporate one Belarusian satellite and one Russian, Canopus-1. The involvement of one more Russian satellite is not ruled out,” he said.
The unsuccessful launch of a Dnepr rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, in late July 2006, resulted in the loss of 18 satellites, including Belarusian BelKa with the cost of about $10 million. The new Belarusian Earth observation satellite will have much better technical parameters, lesser weight and higher maneuverability.
Belarus and Russia agreed on the joint use of the satellite data reception and processing system. The satellites will have the same platform.