Special Correspondent

Delegation to meet Madhavan Nair

Kazakhstan developing a new generation launcher

It hopes to build 12 telecom satellites by 2020

NEW DELHI: Kazakhstan, which houses the world famous Baikonur satellite launching facility, is looking for a tie-up with the Indian Space Research Organisation, including joint projects for construction of various types of satellites and training of engineers and specialists.

A five-member high-level delegation led by the Chairman of the country’s space agency, National Cosmic Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Talghat Mussabayev, is here for discussion with ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair and other officials.

During the week-long visit, the delegation will visit the ISRO headquarters, the ISRO Satellite Centre, the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Commanding Network’s Headquarter and the Regional Remote Sensing Service Centre in Bangalore, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota and the National Remote Sensing Agency in Hyderabad.

Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, Mr. Mussabayev said Kazakhstan was looking for long-term cooperation with India as the two countries had a lot of expertise to share in terms of construction of satellites as also their launching.

Pointing out that his country had become a space power with the launch of its first-ever telecommunication satellite, KazSat-1 last year, he said not only two more satellites were in the pipeline, the country was also developing a new generation rocket launcher that would be more eco-friendly than the Russian proton type boosters.

Called Baiterek, the new launcher will be capable of placing 30-tonne charge into orbit. Preliminary trials for a prototype were set for 2010 with more powerful versions to be tested one year later.

It will be launched from a specially designed launch pad at Baikonur, the construction of which will begin shortly.

Between now and 2020, the country hopes to construct a dozen telecommunication satellites and put in place a satellite navigation system.

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev is keen on developing the space industry in the country, notably in the domain of the telecommunication satellites, taking advantage of the Baikonur facility.