New space tourism project at Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome

ASTANA, Kazakhstan - $1 million has been invested into a tourist project at the Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome, Tengrinews reports, citing the Press Service of the Ministry of Industry and New T

New space tourism project at Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome

ASTANA, Kazakhstan – $1 million has been invested into a tourist project at the Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome, Tengrinews reports, citing the Press Service of the Ministry of Industry and New Technology.

“Kazakhstan-based Diamond Trans has invested about $1 million to start the Space Harbor project that will feature trade and entertainment zones, hotels and office space. The project is centered around a glass dome enabling to observe space launches. The project seeks to ensure safety and comfort of arriving tourists. The administration of Baikonur city is considering renting out lands totaling 10 hectares adjacent to the facility under construction. Russia and Kazakhstan are expected to sign bulk of documents on space tourism projects early 2014.

The Russian side has expressed readiness to develop space tourism at Baikonur, including through tours round the assembly facilities and a launch pad. The project is expected to rely on investors”, the press-release reads.

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Baikonur is closer to the Equator than other launch sites – a situation that facilitates geostationary orbit or orbits less inclined to reach the International Space Station (ISS). This privileged geographic placement enables the launch of more significant payloads.

The cosmodrome has been rented out since 1994. Annual rent stands at $115 million.

The town accommodates over 70 000 people, with 37% being Russia’s citizens. About 4 000 Russia’s citizens are here almost permanently on business trips to facilitate space launches. The town budget receives over 1 billion roubles a year from the Russian federal budget.

Russia’s Roskosmos Federal Space Agency spent over $33.3 million in 2012 to maintain infrastructure and space facilities at the Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported February 1, 2013, citing Yuzhny Space Center Evgeniy Anissimov as saying.

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