Kazakh President to visit Russian space industry enterprises

During his two-day trip to Moscow, which starts on Wednesday, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev will visit a number of enterprises of the Russian space industry.

According to a source in Rosaviakosmos, or the Russian Aerospace Agency, Nazarbayev's interest in space is definitely not accidental. "Kazakhstan has adopted a national space program, which envisages joint production of aerotechnics /new rocket boosters/ with Russia and Ukraine and also the setting up of a national cosmonaut detachment," explained the source. The sides have already selected suitable candidates among military and civil pilots. Most probably, Kazakhstan is planning to make a more extensive use the Russian launching site Baikonur, which is located on its territory, so as to become an active space power.

It is expected that the Kazakh president's talks in Moscow will also touch on the possibility of sending a Kazakh cosmonaut to on a short trip to the International Space Station in 2003-2005 on board the Soyuz TMA spaceship, and also on the use of simulators at the Russian Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Zvyozdny Gorodok to train Kazakh space pilots, said the source.

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