Russia's Leading Space Centers Agree On Cooperation

On Monday the Khrunichev State Scientific-Industrial Center has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Space Communication state-run company. "It is a major event for us", said Space Communication chief Antonyuk at a briefing. "Now we have a reliable partner for renewing the Russian group of satellites on the basis of Russian-made spacecraft with the use of efficient means of delivery made by the Khrunichev Center. They are light carrier rockets Rokot, Angara-1.1, Angara-1.2, Angara-A5 and new heavy rockets Proton-M", said Antonyuk. Khrunichev Center general director Alexander Medvedev said that "this long-term agreement allows us to develop a new direction -- family of light rockets for commercial uses". As soon as in 2003 such a rocket will put into orbit the first light 600-kilogramme communication satellite of a new generation. Use of light rockets for these ends will make much cheaper the putting of satellites into geostationary orbits from the launching pad of the Russian cosmodrome Plesetsk, said Medvedev. Earlier, all such launches were only made from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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