Archive for May, 2012
The Jamestown Foundation’s Richard Weitz has a piece in today’s Eurasia Monitor discussing the implications of Russia’s decreasing reliance on the Baikonur Cosmodrome, located near Tyuratam, in Kazakhstan. Weitz points out that although Russia plans to utilize its soon-to-be-completed Vostochny and existing Plesetsk cosmodromes for military and civilian launches, it still sees advantages to using the Baiknour facilities, in particular for commercial launches.
This development has in part led Kazakhstan to evaluate its plans regarding space programs and the country’s future efforts. From the article:
In 2008, Talgat Musabaev, head of Kazcosmos, predicted that Russia would end manned space flights from Baikonur over the next decade. He added that Kazakhstan and Russia would move to “a new strategic stage of space partnership” (Interfax-Kazakhstan, February 2008). Nonetheless, the uncertainty of this space partnership has prompted Kazcosmos to begin shifting its focus away from Russian space projects and more towards domestic projects such as enhancing the country’s communications capabilities and developing Baikonur into a center for developing high-technology products.
Bloomberg’s Stepan Kravchenko highlights how these plans may revitalize Russia’s space industry.