Kazakhstan’s Parliament Approves Spaceport Cooperation with Russia

The lower house of the Kazakh parliament on Wednesday approved the amendments to a Kazakh-Russian agreement on building the Baiterek space rocket complex at Baikonur Cosmodrome, state news agency Kazinform reported.

Kazakh Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry Askar Zhumagaliev said Kazakhstan plans to allocate 233 million U.S. dollars to modernize the Zenit-M space launch facility at Baikonur, Xinhua informs.

Russia will carry out the production of Soyuz-5 carrier rocket, testing equipment, modernization technical complexes and upgrading spacecraft, which will cost about 916 million U.S. dollars, Zhumagaliev said in parliament.

He added the original plan was to build a launch pad for Angara rockets, but due to multiple delays, the two countries decided to cooperate on launching the Soyuz-5 medium-lift rockets.

“Both decided to implement the project on the basis of the Soyuz-5 launch vehicle. In general, Russia is responsible for the creation of the rocket, and we are responsible for the ground-based infrastructure,” Zhumagaliev said.

Zhumagaliev said the Baiterek project will help the Baikonur Cosmodrome maintain its leading position, and promote strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and Russia in space area.

According to Tass, the Baiterek project is scheduled to be implemented from 2020 to 2023. On August 22, 2018, Kazakhstan and Russia signed a protocol on the amendments and supplements to the bilateral agreement of December 22, 2004. The two sides agreed to build the Baiterek launch complex for Soyuz-5 at Baikonur.