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MOSCOW, April 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Crimea’s space infrastructure will be used and developed, head of the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) Oleg Ostapenko told a news conference on Thursday.
Crimea, in his words, “has many interesting things”: an observatory, a unique station near Yevpatoria, and a number of other stations.
“We have decided what is interesting for us,” he said. “We have set up a joint group with a number of other agencies, which have their own visions and possibilities of further use (of Crimea’s space infrastructure). Now we are working on a programme on what is to be used and how to develop these facilities in future,” he added
The scientific potential created in Crime in the Soviet times can be restored, he believes. Astronomical instruments are in good working condition, but many scientists from the observatory left for the United States, Belgium and Russia. Many went into business.
There is a reflector a 2.5-metre telescope, one of Europe's largest, and several smaller telescopes at the Crimean astrophysical observatory. A powerful 22-metre radio telescope is located in the village of Nauchny. After technical renovation, it can give perfect material to study Gamma radiation, Stepanov notes.
"The Crimean observatory can become the brightest diamond in the crown of Russia's astronomy," the scientist said, "not only for its good instruments, but for its climate favourable to take high-quality pictures," he noted. St. Petersburg, where the Pulkovo observatory is located, has only 80-90 clear days a year, while Crimea has 200.
With a competent approach, the scientific potential in Crime can make the peninsula a leading scientific centre, he concluded.