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Russia, Kazakhstan agree to reduce Proton carrier launches — Russian space agency

November 24, 2014, 16:54 UTC+3 BAIKONUR

Russian Proton-M carrier rocket is being prepared for its 400th launch on November 28

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Proton M carrier rocket

Proton M carrier rocket

© ITAR-TASS/Oleg Urusov

BAIKONUR, November 24. /TASS/. Russia and Kazakhstan have agreed to gradually reduce the launches of Proton carrier rockets from Kazakh Baikonur launch site, head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, Oleg Ostapenko, told TASS on Monday.

“The issue has been agreed upon and the parties have signed a protocol. We agreed to reduce the number of Proton launches by 2026, but we may as well extend the protocol after that year if needed. This year we have launched 16 Proton carriers. We have scheduled all the launches by year”, he told the second meeting of Russia-Kazakhstan intergovernmental committee on Baikonur launch site.

Kazakhstan’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Bakytzhan Sagintayev, explained that this decision was aimed to reduce environmental pressure.

“Of course, it is comprehensible that we will not be able to resolve this touchy issue immediately, but we are already making some steps. I believe the people will support our decision. We have already agreed on the quantity of future Proton launches and the deadlines”, he said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, together with his Kazakh counterpart held a meeting of intergovernmental committee after the Russian manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-15M was successfully launched Monday to the International Space Station /ISS/ from Baikonur launch site.

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