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    EXPERTS PROPOSE REHABILITATION OF ENERGIA LAUNCH COMPLEX IN BAIKONUR FOR LUNAR MISSIONS

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    MOSCOW, November 30 (RIA Novosti) - It is proposed to rehabilitate the launch complex of the superheavy Energia rocket in Baikonur (Russia's leased cosmodrome in Kazakhstan) for the delivery of parts to the Moon to built a habitable base there. Yuri Semenov, head of the Space Rocketry Corporation Energia, voiced this idea at a local meeting on Tuesday with the leading Russian and foreign media men.

    "Having at hand a ready scheme of a tested rocket, it would be silly to spend huge sums on developing something else", he noted. "Carrying a unit for the lunar programme by, say, a Proton means 20 intakes. For an Energia, boasting a 100-tonne lifting power, it will be only five intakes", Semenov said.

    Asked about the cost of rehabilitation (an Energia also launched the Soviet space shuttle Buran on its first and only mission), Semenov said: "Rehabilitation of the launch complex and the carrier rocket will take about ten billion dollars. Still, it is much less than creating a new carrier".

    Earlier, Roskosmos (Russian Space Agency) head Anatoli Perminov said that he has got from NASA chief Sean O'Kefe an official invitation to partake in the national lunar programme.

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