An area of 95,000 square kilometers in Russia and Kazakhstan has been designated as impact area for the waste stages of booster rockets launched from Baikonur, reports Andrei Poluarshinov, impact area exploitation department chief.
"In all, 50 impact areas covering 46,000 square kilometers have been provided in Kazakhstan for space vehicle launches from Baikonur. This figure for Russia is 23 zones with a total impact of 49,000 square kilometers: Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tomsk Regions, Altai Republic, Tuva and Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk and Altai Territories as well as Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District. There is one impact area in Turkmenistan to be used under one-time agreement," said Poluarshinov.
He explained that space vehicles' launches are always accompanied with the fall to the earth of wasted parts of the booster rockets.
"These are spent stages, apex covers and joining sections. The size and location of such impact areas are defined for each route by requirements to the orbits of space vehicles, their mass and power-supply characteristics and are preferably set in least-populated places with minimal economic activities," continued Poluarshinov.
He says the exploitation of impact areas on the territory of Russia and foreign states is subject to agreements signed by the Federal Space Agency with the executives of the Russian federation jurisdictions on whose territories these places are located.
These agreements stipulate that measures to guarantee residents' safety, ecological monitoring and environmental protection shall be taken in impact areas with every launch of a space vehicle.
Poluarshinov made no secret of the fact that the Federal Space Agency has got frictions with the executive authorities in some jurisdictions in the Altai territory, Novosibirsk and Tomsk regions refusing to allot impact areas.
"They sometimes put forward ungrounded demands contradicting Russian government acts and boiling down, as a rule, to land lease and payments," said Poluarshinov.
Some Russian Federation constituent members seek medical, genetic, ecological and other type of examination of the population and their territories without substantiating any links to space activity.
"The fulfillment of such demands will result in an unjustified increase in the expenditures and, consequently, with scarce spending on space activity, to a drastic reduction of space vehicle launches as well as to the curtailment of some space programs of key importance for the country's defense capacity, economy, and performance of international obligations," concluded Poluarshinov.