Russia to stay at Baikonur until 2020

Nov. 10, 2007 at 1:26 PM

MOSCOW, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Russian space officials say they will continue to use Kazakhstan's Baikonur launch site until at least 2020.

Roskosmos chief Anatoly Perminov said the space agency plans to build a new launch facility in Russia's Far East, but will continue to lease Baikonur from Kazakhstan to launch its Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

"We will not and cannot leave Baikonur before 2020 as long as Soyuz (spacecraft) are being launched," Perminov said.

Perminov said Russia is the process of holding a tender for the development of the Clipper reusable spacecraft, which would replace the Soyuz and Progress carrier rockets in making regular flights to the ISS, Novosti said.

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