Russia, Kazakhstan in deadlock over rocket launchesMay 30th, 2012 - 9:23 am ICT by IANS
Astana, May 30 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia and Kazakhstan have failed to reach an agreement on a new drop zone for the debris of Russian carrier rockets being launched from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.
Russia’s Kommersant daily said in an article recently that Russia would not be able to carry out three scheduled rocket launches because of the dispute.
Kazakh space agency Kazcosmos said: “The launches mentioned in the article have not been agreed to by Kazakhstan because they require a new debris drop zone, which is not part of the Baikonur rent agreement of December 1994.”
Kazakhstan insists that in order for the zone to be used, the two sides must sign an additional agreement to the Baikonur rent agreement, which has to be ratified by the Kazakh parliament.
Kazcosmos said the talks on the new agreement began in 2008 but a draft document is still in the works.
Failure to sign the document has already prevented Russia from launching a European weather monitoring satellite MetOp-B May 23, and will most likely jeopardise a cluster launch of Belarusian, Canadian, German and two Russian satellites June 7 and the launch of Russian satellite Resurs-P in August.
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Tags: astana, baikonur space, deadlock, debris, draft document, drop zone, european weather, kazakh, kazakhstan, kommersant daily, launch, parliament, resurs, ria novosti russia, rockets, russian carrier, russian satellite, russian satellites, space agency, space centre