On June 10 Kazakhstani parliament ratified an agreement between Russia and Kazakhstan in cooperation with rocket launches from Baykonur.
The agreement regulates all the issues associated with the Russian Soyuz-2 rocket launches from the Baykonur launching site, according to Bagdat Musin, the minister of digital development, investments and airspace industry. Russia is going to use these rockets within the big international project One Web, which aims at providing the globe with wideband internet access and needs some areas of land in the Kostanay region of Kazakhstan as a location where separating parts of the rocket can fall. The agreement between the two governments was signed on June 20, 2019, in Nur-Sultan.
«The area where the separating parts of the rockets can fall will be used just several times a year under the terms of the easement. This period won’t last longer than six days. However, to avoid any risk for people or animals, this area will be closed during that time. Before and after each launch, the land can be utilized with no limitations. Three launches with separated parts falling in the Kostanay region would cost $460,000. All that money will be paid to the Zhangeldi district of the Kostanay region. If some additional launches happen, Kazakhstan should be paid $50,000 for each launch,» Musin said.
The minister noted that there is no risk for people’s health. Moreover, officials are going to monitor the sanitary conditions of the land after each launch. For example, they will collect samples of flora and track changes with animal’s health during the launch period.
«We are going to meet all the environment protection rules and requirements. For example, no launches will occur over the period from April to June, when saiga antelope and some birds breed. One Web project aims to unfold a new network of mobile services and is going to launch about 650 satellites,» the official underlined.
The ratification of the agreement with Russia will let Kazakhstan intensify Baykonur operations and make more commercial launches.
«Soyuz-2 type rockets are fueled with oxygen/kerosene that is safe for the environment,» he noted.
According to the agreement, Kazakhstani experts and organizations have all rights to take part in environmental monitoring in the area where separating part of the rockets will fall. In turn, the Russian side also has negotiated this issue with all authorized bodies.
Sunil Mittal, the chairman of the board of One Web from the U.K. even traveled to Kazakhstan to meet with Prime Minister Askar Mamin. The British businessman presented Mamin with the project and told him what has already been done at the Baykonur launching site. As of April 2021, One Web launched 110 satellites; about eight launches are going to start from Baykonur. The global satellite network One Web will include 648 satellites at a height of 1,200 kilometers in total.