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Russia and Belarus to use new Vostochny space launch facility jointly

October 28, 2014, 17:26 UTC+3 MINSK
Russia and Belarus have already created a successfully functioning orbital satellite group, which is being used in the interests of both states
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Druzhinin

MINSK, October 28 /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Space Agency /ROSCOSMOS/ said on Tuesday it would allow Belarus to participate in national space research programmes to be carried out at the Vostochny space launch facility in Russia’s Amur region in the Far East.

The Vostochny space launch site is to begin operation next year. The facility is located near the town of Uglegorsk. More than 400 facilities, including 120 launchers, an airfield with a 4,500-meter runway, more than 170 kilometers of railways and roads are to be built at Vostochny. The first launches are to start in 2015. The construction of launch facilities for the Angara rocket will get under way in 2016. Russia also plans to start launching manned spaceships from Vostochny in 2018. Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin, who visits Vostochny at least once in three months, has taken the construction works, to be finished in 2020, under personal control.

“We have very tough deadlines. The Vostochny spaceport is to begin operation in 2015. We will be ready to implement not only national programs but also the programs of Belarus which is a full-fledged space power,” Yuri Makarov, the head of the ROSCOSMOS strategic planning department, said in his speech at the Belarusian space congress in Minsk.

Russia-Belarus space cooperation

Russia and Belarus have already created a successfully functioning orbital satellite group, which is being used in the interests of both states. Minsk has ground-based facilities for space research: the Satellite Control Center; a command and measurement complex; a facility for receipt, handling and distribution of space information.

Belarus became a full-fledged member of the space powers club in the summer of 2012 when Belarus launched its first spacecraft from Baikonur space launch facility in Kazakhstan.

“The Union State /of Russia and Belarus/ have successfully implemented four programs. About 50 Belarusian and Russian enterprises are currently working on new projects,” Makarov said.

The development of a nanosatellite for Peru is one of the most promising Russian-Belarusian projects. The satellite is to carry out orbital experiments on prediction of earthquakes. The two countries are creating an inter-state system for space monitoring of emergency situations as part of a CIS cooperation programme. The new space monitoring system is to be based on the Russian GLONASS navigation system. The question will be part of the agenda of the 2015 Minsk conference of representatives of the CIS executive power bodies in charge of space cooperation. The Commonwealth of Independent States’ accession to the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters will also be a topic for discussion.

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