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ASTANA, April 12, /ITAR-TASS/. Kazakhstan wants to send its astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2016-2017 and is engaged in negotiations on the matter with Russia, Yerkin Shaimagambetov, deputy head of Kazakhstan’s National Space Agency (Kazcosmos), told ITAR-TASS on Saturday, April 12.
“Russia stated its readiness to discuss [the issue] and we continue to explore with Roscosmos [Russian Federal Space Agency] the possibility of sending our astronaut to the ISS in 2016-2017,” he said.
At the same time, he noted that this issue would require a more thorough review and discussion, including by the leadership of the two countries and might be included in the agenda of the meeting between the Russian and Kazakh prime ministers in Moscow on April 15.
A Kazakh astronaut had trained at the Cosmonauts’ Training centre outside Moscow and was supposed to go on a mission to the ISS in 2009 aboard a Soyuz spaceship but never did after the Kazakh government had slashed budget expenditures.