Russia offers Kazakhstan to modernize Baikonur Cosmodrome
Russia addressed to Kazakhstan with proposal: to raise the competitiveness of Baikonur Cosmodrome in the international space market within a joint project, BNews.kz correspondent reports.
Based on the launch vehicle Sunkar, Russia suggests realizing the commercial Proton-light project. It` s about the modernization up to middle level and joint exploitation of the Proton Cosmodrome. It is noted that Russia will financially invest all works on modernization.
" The Russian Federation represented by Khrunichev`s center will financially invest the work on modernization of launch vehicle and its ground based complex Baikonur. But the implementation of this project requires the positive Kazakhstan attitude concerning the opening and providing of new flight paths and drop zones in the territory of Kazakhstan,” the chief of the department on ensuring activities in Baikonur complex Bakytbek Bekpanov, the special representative of Kazakhstan President.
Within the project, Khrunichev's center suggests to transfer to JV Bayterek (it is formed by the Intergovernmental agreement of Kazakhstan and Russia – an editor's note) a starting complex modernized SRC Proton - M. Besides, it is planned to give shares of the international company International Launch Servises Inc with an exclusive right on marketing of all commercial start-up of LV Proton to the contingent capital of JV Bayterek.
"Now in the conditions of the fierce competition in the world market there is a reduction in commercial orders for start-up of LV Proton-M of a heavy class,” Bekpanov said. For 2017 Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center signed only three contracts for commercial launches of this rocket. And profitability of SRC Proton requires at least five start-ups a year. The modernization of SRC Proton-M would allow raising its competitiveness in the world market due to expense reduction on creation of the rocket and start up services. Startup of rockets on this project can be begun since 2018 in case of a consent of Kazakhstan.”
The Proton-light project is the commercial project which is oriented to such piece of the international market of commercial start-up which remained busy after exploitation of SRC Falkon-9 by SpaceX private company of Elon Musk in the USA.
Now the proposals of Russian are examined in scientific and technical council of Roscosmos and then will be sent to Kazcosmos.