Baikonur spaceport to receive $233m upgrade
December 20, 2019
By Chris Forrester
Kazakhstan’s government says it will invest $233 million (€209.5m) in upgrading the Baikonur spaceport.
News agency TASS says Kazakhstan’s cash will mean a new space launch facility (“Baiterek”) at Baikonur.
Kazakhstan’s Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry, Askar Zhumagaliev explained to journalists how the project would be managed: “In this project, the work is arranged in the following way. Kazakhstan is responsible for the ground-based part, and we will spend approximately $233 million on the modernization of the Zenit-M space launch facility, that is, the launch pad, while Russia will be in charge of the production of the Soyuz-5 carrier rocket. It is expected that $916 million will be allocated for this work. It is clear that these funds will be earmarked by Russia,” he added when asked about the funding for the Baiterek project.
The agreement between Russia – which leases the site – and Kazakhstan was signed back in August 2018 and was based on a protocol agreed in 2004.