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Russia proposes long-term extension of Baikonur lease
Posted: Fri, Oct 4, 2002, 12:40 PM ET (1640 GMT)
Russian officials said this week that they were interested in a long-term lease extension that could allow them to continue to use the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan until 2044. The AFP reported Wednesday that Rosaviakosmos officials said that there were negotiating with the government of Kazakhstan to extend their lease of the Baikonur Cosmodrome beyond the end of this decade, possibly until the year 2044. Russian officials had previously reported that they planned to move all Russian launches out of Baikonur by the end of the decade, or even earlier, to avid paying the annual $115 million lease fee to the Kazakh government. Russia is developing a successor to the Proton, called the Angara, that will be able to launch payloads into geosynchronous orbit from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia by late this decade.
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