Kazakhstan is ready to consider Russia's proposal of converting the Baikonur Space Center into a joint-stock company with Russia as a major shareholder, Kazakh chief Talgat Musabayev said on Tuesday.
Baikonur, the world's first and largest space center which Russia currently uses for many of its space launches, is located in Kazakhstan and leased by Russia until 2050. Russia plans to cut the share of its space flights from Baikonur to only 11 percent as soon as its Vostochny space launch facility starts operation in 2015.
"We will work on the issue together with Russia and other states. It is worth thinking about," said Musabayev, the head of Kazakhstan's space agency Kazcosmos.
The Vostochny launch facility in Russia will initially be used for launching cargo spacecraft and satellites. Manned spacecraft will be launched from the space center starting in 2018.
Last week, the head of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, Anatoly Perminov, suggested turning the space center into a joint-stock company with Russia getting 70 percent of the shares as soon as Vostochny goes into operation.
ASTANA, April 19 (RIA Novosti)