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Kazakhstan Wants Russia To Hand Over Their Baikonur Space City

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the borat-goes-to-mars dept.

Space 131

Hugh Pickens writes writes "RIA Novosti reports that Kazakhstan and Russia are in talks over returning the city of Baikonur to Kazakhstan — the site of the first Soviet rocket launches and Russia's most important space launch center. Baikonur, built in Kazakhstan in the 1950s, is the main launch facility for the current generation of Russian rockets and was leased by Russia from Kazakhstan under an agreement signed in 1994 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. 'Today both nations' governments have decided to set up a new intergovernmental commission for the Baikonur complex to be headed up by first or other deputy prime ministers,' said Talgat Musabayev, head of Kazakhstan's space agency. At issue is control over Baikonur and the rent Russia pays Kazakhstan to use the facility, a subject of ongoing dispute between the two nations ever since Kazakhstan gained independence from the USSR. Earlier this year, Kazakhstan blocked Russia from launching several rockets from Baikonur in a dispute over a drop zone for debris and Kazakhstan insisted this must be covered by a supplement to the main rental agreement signed in Astana in 2004, extending Russia's use of the space center's facilities until 2050. Russia pays an annual fee of approximately $115 million to use the space center, which currently has the world's busiest launch schedule, as well as $50 million annually for maintenance. Russia and Kazakhstan are working to build a new space launch facility at Baikonur, called Baiterek, to launch Angara carrier rockets capable of delivering 26 metric tons of payload to low-Earth orbits but Russia intends to eventually withdraw from Baikonur and conduct launches from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, an operating spaceport about 500 miles north of Moscow — and the unfinished Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East."

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Easy now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249726)

We find your lack of support disturbing. We are changing the agreement, pray that we will not change it further.

The Borg in Blade Runner, as played by Dirk Benedict.

Re:Easy now (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249998)

The rule of thumb is: if your country ends in -stan, it's time to move!

I bet (3, Insightful)

aglider (2435074) | about 2 years ago | (#42249802)

They won't return it!
For a simple question: why should they?

Re:I bet (3, Insightful)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about 2 years ago | (#42249862)

This is not much more than a political gambit. Kazakhstan squeezes, russia squeezes back. Or, more precisely, kazakhstan squeezes, russia pays off whoever needs to be paid off in kazakhstan, and things are back to normal. There's a good reason why I've seen more maybachs in Almaty than any other city in the world. While nowhere nearly as corrupt as uzbekistan or turkmenistan or russia as a whole, kazakhstan is still by in large run with russia's golden hand up its backside.

russia, or, more specifically, the russian governments from basically 1400 through 1991 and then 2000 - today have been this giant cancer that has caused hardship and ruin for the lives of hundreds of millions in states and regions that border russia. only now are internet-reading educated russians in large cities starting to even slightly understand this.

Re:I bet (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#42249886)

then why was putin voted back in?

Re:I bet (4, Insightful)

ikaruga (2725453) | about 2 years ago | (#42250024)

First because he said internet-reading educated russians in large cities. Educated people are a minority in most regions of the planet.
Second, corruption is rampart in Russia. Even if the people vote against Putin they can easily work around it. Last elections over there showed it:140% votes [economist.com]
As a guy who was born in Russia this corruption pisses the crap out of me.

Re:I bet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250160)

As a guy who was born in Russia this corruption pisses the crap out of me.

Please amend to "As a faggot hatched from an egg that somehow got laid by my second father's anal canal...."

Re:I bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250238)

I'm sure with Yeltsin things were smooth and no corruption occurred, not even when state parts were sold for a bargain.

Yeah, right.

Re:I bet (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42252301)

Last elections over there showed it:140% votes [economist.com]

Perhaps Mr. Putin could be persuaded to finish off his career in the United States, helping us to increase our terrible level of political engagement.

Re:I bet (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42251129)

then why was putin voted back in?

Probably for the same reason why Hitler was voted in in the first place...charisma, propaganda, nationalist tendencies, social issues etc.

Re:I bet (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#42251231)

then why was putin voted back in?

Because it was his turn to be president. Next time, it will be Medvedev's turn.

So, the two of them are sitting in a bathtub, and Putin asks Medvedev, "What day is it today?" Medvedev answers, "Tuesday." Putin responds, "Good! Then I am president today, and you must go to the freezer to fetch us another bottle of vodka!"

Re:I bet (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#42251731)

Widespread lack of belief that the opposition is better. The major complaints from the opposition against Putin are that he is corrupt, and gives money and power to his friends. As far as running the country, he does ok.

The American way to handle this would be to throw the corrupt guy out, and let the new corrupt guy in. The Russian way to handle it is to try to be friends with the current corrupt guy.

Re:I bet (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#42252455)

....
The American way to handle this would be to throw the corrupt guy out, and let the new corrupt guy in. The Russian way to handle it is to try to be friends with the current corrupt guy.

Sadly, I agree with you. That is why I am part of RootStrikers.org. I think that replacing one neo-con with a dem does not really change that much. And as long as the 2 major parties block 3rd parties, nothing will change. As such, we need the citizens to block CONgress from being so corrupt.

Re:I bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250489)

I thought it was because Kazakhstan is number one exporter of potassium

Re:I bet (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#42250525)

Your post's first part is correct. Second is opinionated drivel on the level of fox news. Governing world's largest state with extremely complex mixture of cultures and ethnicities that have standing conflicts that sometimes spawn over millenia requires a very hard handed approach.

Most people don't seem to understand that large states are ALL corrupt, but corruption changes face in accordance to local culture. In the East, it's generally low level corruption, with low and middle level bureaucrats that take most of the bribes. The upper echelon of the bureaucracy typically accepts this as a realistic cost of running an Eastern country.

In the West, we typically have a high level corruption where highest of the ruling elite are more corrupt then low and middle bureaucrats. And we the people accept that corruption at highest strata of society is just the way our culture works.

I still remember the old saying about the biggest difference between Russia and USA. In USA, money is power. In Russia, power is money.

Re:I bet (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#42251697)

I don't see paying for the renting of a facility as corruption. It's good business for both of them. Kazakhstan doesn't have a space program so the Baikonur would be useless to them, and Russia doesn't have territories near the equator, so they have to strike a deal.

Re:I bet (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#42252561)

russia, or, more specifically, the russian governments from basically 1400 through 1991 and then 2000 - today have been this giant cancer that has caused hardship and ruin for the lives of hundreds of millions in states and regions that border russia.

Indeed. How dare they build roads, irrigation, schools, universities, power plants, factories, and, well, cosmodroms in countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan etc, which were obviously doing so well on their own with 99% of their people living in yurts and herding livestock.

Stop colonialism today! Replace the Russian cancer on Kazakh soil that is Baikonur with traditional Kazakh yurts!

Re:I bet (1)

Clevershutter (831568) | about 2 years ago | (#42251023)

Because Kazakhstan, glorious nation, is not run by little girl and Russia is.

Russia "giving back" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249804)

Russia giving stuff back? Seriously? I'll be right back. I need to check hell for ice.

Re:Russia "giving back" (3, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#42249994)

Especially because giving up Baikonur would force Russia to launch from higher latitudes, reducing their payload to orbit capacity for certain orbits.

I'm picturing a crusty old political geographer sitting up in one of his wingback chair and saying, a quavering voice, "Russia wants a warm water space port."

WHO RUNS Space City?!! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#42250252)

Master Blaster runs Space City.

WHERE IS Space City?!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250679)

I bet it is near the northern fence of Jewtown.

time to invade (1, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42249826)

like they did in georgia a few years back

Re:time to invade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249832)

First place my mind went to.

Re:time to invade (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249870)

Can you at least get your fact straight ? The only ones saying that Russia invaded Georgia are the tie-eater and members of the Tea Party

Re:time to invade (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#42249882)

'Tie-eater'

The only people who are going to know who you're referring to are Georgians or Russians.

Re:time to invade (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#42250775)

Saakashvili eats his tie.

--
BMO

Re:time to invade (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249906)

Didnt Georgia invade the independent countries Ossetia and Abkhazia first, so Russians had to come and protect Ossetia's and Abkhazias sovereignty, after recognizing their independence a few hours before?

As the US and other western countries demonstrated with Kosovo, recognizing some random regions independence from one of your geopolitical foes and then marching in to protect the newly granted independence is a valid practice according to international law.

Re:time to invade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250106)

Killing Russian peace keepers in the process, while using U.S. artillery to shell those cities.

My favorite political quote comes from that conflict.
US representative starts yelling and pointing fingers at Russia during UN meeting.
Russian representative (Lavrov I think): so, found any Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq yet?

Re:time to invade (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#42250218)

Right.... Georgia recognized their sovereignty after Russia held a gun to the collective heads of nearly everybody in Georgia?

Don't even get me started with Kosovo. That is a political quagmire that has nearly 2000 years of bullshit strewn around the rest of the world and is responsible for the deaths of literally millions of people including folks in my hometown. In spite of all of those millennia of turmoil and death, little seems to be solved.

Re:time to invade (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250603)

> Right.... Georgia recognized their sovereignty after Russia held a gun to the collective heads of nearly everybody in Georgia?

Russia recognized their sovereignty and 5 minutes later marched in to protect it. Like the US and the EUSSR did in Kosovo. What the tiny Georgia did or did not absolutely doesnt matter.

> In spite of all of those millennia of turmoil and death, little seems to be solved.

Nobody cares about Kosovo itself. But the conquest of Kosovo massively changed the bigger picture of things.

Russia took the conquest of Kosovo by the US and the EUSSR as a precedent: "If you can legitimize an invasion and a land grab simply by proclaming the regions you want to grab as independent first, so can we." And they did. And they will again if they feel like it, because no international law exists any more to stop them.

Re:time to invade (0)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#42251169)

Russia took the conquest of Kosovo by the US and the EUSSR as a precedent: "If you can legitimize an invasion and a land grab simply by proclaming the regions you want to grab as independent first, so can we." And they did. And they will again if they feel like it, because no international law exists any more to stop them.

Russia did nothing of the sort. If you really want to understand why Russia went into Georgia, I would suggest reading this book [gutenberg.org] or you can simply read the Cliff Notes [wikipedia.org] .

It was simply in the national interest to do what Russia did, as was also the case with Kosovo. In the case of the USA, it was even more about the personal ambition and the need to establish a "lasting legacy" on the part of Bill Clinton.... and ditto for Putin in regards to Georgia. Russia wanted a strong leader, so that is what they got.

Re:time to invade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42252099)

It was on the news when the Kosovo war started that the Russian president (or foreign minister?) said something like "this is a precedent for further similar situations and you will regret it"

Re:time to invade (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#42252551)

That sounds like an excuse, not a cause. You can use anything for an excuse, including what your mother look like this morning when she woke up today (or if she did at all).

Re:time to invade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250595)

Like the other anon said, it's much worst than that. Imagine if Serbia tried right now to retake Kosovo, starting by shelling the major city and the US / UN / KFOR peacekeeper.

AC doesn't get it (3, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 2 years ago | (#42250713)

Didnt Georgia invade the independent countries Ossetia and Abkhazia first, so Russians had to come and protect Ossetia's and Abkhazias sovereignty, after recognizing their independence a few hours before?

As the US and other western countries demonstrated with Kosovo, recognizing some random regions independence from one of your geopolitical foes and then marching in to protect the newly granted independence is a valid practice according to international law.

Ossetia and Abkhazia have always been part of Georgia, but in the days of the USSR, it didn't matter who they belonged to as long as they were in the USSR. With independence, the regions are majority ethnic Russian and they didn't like being joined to an ethnic group (Georgian) who they regard as being something equivalent to rednecks or hillbillies in the USA. So they kicked all the ethnic Georgians out or killed them and proclaimed independence. Being on the border with Russia, Russia sent troops in officially as "peacekeepers" but in reality to prevent a weak Georgian military from re-taking them. But they belong to Georgia. Recognizing their independence is just a sham to justify the illegal action of basically stealing the territories from Georgia.

Kosovo is somewhat different in that genocidal warfare basically made many countries argue for independence as the only way to protect the citizens. There's nothing really analogous to this in Georgia as in Ossetia and Abkhazia they kicked out the non-Russians and the Russians were never in any real danger to begin with, although they like to claim that they were to justify kicking out the Georgians.

Re:AC doesn't get it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250847)

> Ossetia and Abkhazia have always been part of Georgia

So what? Now they're not any more.

> Kosovo is somewhat different in that genocidal warfare

None of that happened in Kosovo. It happened in other Yugoslavian republics, but not in Kosovo.

> independence as the only way to protect the citizens.

So argued Russia, when it granted (and subsequently enforced) independence to Abkhazia and Ossetia.

> There's nothing really analogous

The analogy is that in both cases, somebody armed to teeth declares a part of some significantly weaker geopolitical foe "independent" and then marches in to "protect" the newly granted independence.

> were never in any real danger to begin with, although they like to claim that they were to justify

The justification doesnt matter as there is no independent third party to judge whether the justification is sufficient or not. Without an impartial judge, the Russian justification to attack Georgia as as good as the US/EUSSR one to attack Serbia. The Russians explicitly referenced the Kosovo precedent when they attacked Georgia. "If you can redraw other countries borders at gunpoint, so can we. Go figure!"

Re:AC doesn't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250955)

For certain values of always - since 1920ies or so.

Re:AC doesn't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251561)

Ossetia and Abkhazia have always been part of Georgia, but in the days of the USSR, it didn't matter who they belonged to as long as they were in the USSR.

So like saying Georgia was always part of Russia

With independence, the regions are majority ethnic Russian and they didn't like being joined to an ethnic group (Georgian) who they regard as being something equivalent to rednecks or hillbillies in the USA

Hmm, interesting. I thought that happened after Georgia invaded those semi-independent "states"?? Once again, proof that violence solves nothing. If you are in inferior military position, *always* negotiate. If you are in superior military position, *always* negotiate too - a military first-strike win may not be so cheap as negotiation.

Georgia gambled with their military and lost big.

Re:time to invade (1)

i (8254) | about 2 years ago | (#42252129)

No. South-Ossetia and Abkhazia was/is a part of Georgia. They are still only recognised by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu (and by partially recognized Transnistria and unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh. And each other).

Georgia tried to use army forces to retake the control of South-Ossetia but was met with Russian forces which entered Georgia proper in fighting.
Separatist forces in Abkhazia have with the help of Russian weapons and forces more or less complete control of Abkhazia.

Regarding Kosovo, as something like 90% of the people was/is Albanians and more or less a war started 1998 between the Serbian army and Albanian rebel forces, a potential risk for homicide was lingering. 2008 declared Kosovo independence. Today is Kosovo recognized by most of the EU country's, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. Plus a couple of minor country's.

As the former republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated, a war started 1991 between a couple of the former provinces/autonomous regions of Yugoslavia. At this point there were no commonly or at all recognized country in this area.

Re:time to invade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42252327)

> South-Ossetia and Abkhazia was/is a part of Georgia.

Russia says they're not.

> They are still only recognised by

It doesnt matter whom they are recognized by as long as Russia says that they're independent.

> Separatist forces in Abkhazia

Freedom fighters.

> Regarding Kosovo, as something like 90% of the people was/is Albanian

Regarding Ossetia, something like 90% of the people are Ossetians.

> Today is Kosovo recognized by most of the EU country's, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan.

As irrelevant as Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu recognizing Abkhazia. The only thing that matters is the US military presence. Thats the only thing that makes Kosovo independent. If the US withdrew from Kosovo, Kosovo would be within minutes reintegrated back into Serbia.

> potential risk for homicide was lingering.

Russia says that a potential risk for homicide was also lingering in Ossetia and Abkhazia.

> At this point there were no commonly or at all recognized country in this area.

Who cares? The point is, that without the US attacking Serbia, there would be no independent Kosovo today. US weaponry was the only reason this border was redrawn. So the Russians figured, if the US can do that, and nobody protests, that they also could redraw other peoples borders. And so we got Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Re:time to invade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42252491)

NATO went into Kosovo to end an apartheid, and a looming genocide. We've been putting an end to shit like this in that part of the world for ages.You're welcome. Everyone complains about the US / NATO "policing" the world. The middle east isn't the only place in the world that would likely go to shit if we stopped.

No way would Russia invade Kaz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250763)

Kazakhstan is a huge source of oil for the Chicoms.

If Russia invaded Kazakhstan, the Chicoms would wipe Russia off the face of the earth.

Re:No way would Russia invade Kaz (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42252443)

Kazakhstan is a huge source of oil for the Chicoms.

If Russia invaded Kazakhstan, the Chicoms would wipe Russia off the face of the earth.

With what? Their 'aircraft carrier'? At present the PRC military can do two things: 1) prevent some other country from invading China and 2) prevent a popular Chinese uprising. They are not equipped and not skilled and not positioned for an aggressive war. Perhaps in a generation or two, but not at present.

Get ready (2)

slcdb (317433) | about 2 years ago | (#42249848)

Prepare for the onslaught of "In Soviet Russia ..." jokes.

Re:Get ready (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249880)

Prepare for the onslaught of "In Soviet Russia ..." jokes.

Id rather hear a bunch of nigger jokes. At least some of those are funny. Unless you're humor impaired then you just get all offended and I think that is funny too!

From the sound of it (1)

Holliday (2528608) | about 2 years ago | (#42249854)

I read this headline on Twitter, and it seemed that the submitter meant a hostile situation

What about Königsberg (Kaliningrad)? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249872)

That would be waaay more interesting.

Re:What about Königsberg (Kaliningrad)? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249922)

Please elaborate. Interesting in what way?

Neither is a true replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249884)

Neither Plesetsk or Vostcohny are particularly good locations for launching geostationary satellites, Plesetsk is great for polar launches that are relatively low orbits but it's unlikely they would even try to launch a geostationary payload from there, The problem is that launch facilities are best located in the tropics to take advantage of earth's spin.
That and the rocket in the linked article looks oddly steampunk. Are those protective covers? Or have the Russians gotten Paul Junior Designs to make a beaten steel and riveted fairing for their new vehicles?

Re:Neither is a true replacement (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#42250320)

Looks like a protective cover to me.

Too far north. (5, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#42249902)

"Russia intends to eventually withdraw from Baikonur and conduct launches from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, an operating spaceport about 500 miles north of Moscow â" and the unfinished Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East."

200 miles south of Arkhangelsk? Really?

As one moves further north, one loses the assist from the Earth's rotation. Launch anything easterly from the Equator, and you get slightly more than a 1,000 mile per hour boost to orbit. If you want to save fuel and cost, you try to launch from as far south as you can, which is why we launch from Florida instead of Cape Cod.

(24902 * cos(63))/24

24902=Circumference of the Earth
63=Latitude of the Plestsk Cosmodrome in degrees
24=Hours in a day.

471mph/758kph - it's the worst out of all of them.

Vostochny Cosmodrome is 51 degrees N. 653mph/1051kph

Baikonur is roughly 46 degrees North - 720mph/1160kph

Canaveral is 28.5 (roughly) - 912mph/1468kph

Centre Spatial Guyanais - 5 degrees N. 1034mph 1664kph - the ESA gets the biggest boost.

Unfortunately for the Russians, they don't have anything very far south. The furthest south they can go is the southern end of Dagestan at roughly the same latitude as New York City.

--
BMO

Re:Too far north. (4, Interesting)

vbraga (228124) | about 2 years ago | (#42249972)

Does launch latitude matters for polar orbits?

Re:Too far north. (3, Informative)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#42250058)

No, you can launch polar orbiting sats from nearly anywhere, it's where the bits fall that may be a problem.

The US launches polar orbiting sats from Vandenberg, because a launch failure or simply a spent booster means that it goes down in the Pacific instead of somewhere on the continental US or Canada (because the Earth rotates under it).

Polar sats are a small percentage of launches.

--
BMO

Re:Too far north. (4, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#42250359)

While not nearly as useful as Geosynchronous orbits or other near equatorial orbits, Molniya orbits [wikipedia.org] and related Tundra orbits [wikipedia.org] are incredibly useful, especially for countries like Russia that has most of its territory in high latitude locations. The kind of vehicles that you would put into those orbits don't need to be launched from Florida and in fact are better launched from places in Russia as well.

My point is that there are things besides polar orbits or geosynchronous orbits to consider when building a spaceport or trying to identify why that location might be useful.

Re:Too far north. (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#42250865)

+5 informative

--
BMO

Re: Does launch latitude matters for polar orbits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250154)

I'm not an expert in this area, but it might, perhaps, in future, at least, if you're not in a hurry, because, once you've got your satellite into some kind of orbit you can then slowly change the orbit using a more efficient engine than what you have to use to get out of the Earth's atmosphere in the first place, something like an ion drive, or even a solar sail, though you'd probably have to be in quite a high orbit for a solar sail to work (because of atmospheric drag). So the most efficient way of getting into a polar orbit might start off with a launch from the equator into an equatorial orbit.

Re:Too far north. (2, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42250192)

Does launch latitude matters for polar orbits?

Short answer, "Yes." Long answer; It's 8am and I haven't had my morning coffee. I don't discuss orbital mechanics before caffination. But I'm sure someone else will in a few hours, once the East coast has finished wasting time on all the other websites we go to in order to avoid working and come here...

Re:Too far north. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250349)

It totally matters for equatorial orbits (i.e. geosynchronous). You can't directly launch into an orbit with an inclination less than the latitude of your launch pad. The only place you can directly launch into an equatorial orbit is from the equator. Otherwise you launch into an inclined orbit, and then change the plane of the orbit on a later burn. Plane changes are very expensive in terms of delta V (and hence fuel).

Re:Too far north. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250018)

You get a boost from being close to the Equator only if you launch a satellite to Geosynchronous orbit, 35800 km high. It's useless for low earth orbits, most of which are polar orbits (they fly over the poles). Most of Russia military satellites are in that latter category.

Re:Too far north. (2)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#42250092)

>It's useless for low earth orbits, most of which are polar orbits

This is wrong.

Most LEO orbits are inclined orbits.

--
BMO

Re:Too far north. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250044)

Here are some options:
a) Cuba
b) Syria
c) secret base in the middle of Sahara
d) secret base in the Amazon
e) secret base in Atlantis
f) Cape Caneveral

Re:Too far north. (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#42250198)

c) secret base in the middle of Sahara

This is not as silly as it sounds.

It's not terribly that far from the Black Sea, through the Suez Canal to East Africa. We ship ordinary stuff all the time for longer distances.

I'm sure the Russians could strike a deal with the Kenyans or Tanzanians.

Bam, there's your equatorial or near-equatorial launch site with an ocean to ditch launch failures into.

--
BMO

Re:Too far north. (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#42250084)

As one moves further north, one loses the assist from the Earth's rotation. Launch anything easterly from the Equator, and you get slightly more than a 1,000 mile per hour boost to orbit. If you want to save fuel and cost, you try to launch from as far south as you can, which is why we launch from Florida instead of Cape Cod.

Well, no. You seem to have forgotten that the Cape started as a ballistic missile test range... Why? Because back then the area was largely uninhabited with lots of empty ocean to the east into which to drop rockets or (later) expended stages. As ranges increased, there were plenty of Caribbean islands where telemetry stations (as telemetry as pretty much line-of-sight back then) could be placed. By the time we got into the business of launching into orbit, we were already in the habit of using the Cape and the infrastructure was already in place.

Anyhow, the boost from being as southerly as possible isn't as important nowadays because modern boosters have much higher performance than those of the 50's and 60's. Not to mention that saving fuel is something of a fool's errand - fuel is cheap compared to the other costs of a launch. (In 2000, it only cost something on the order of a million dollars to filll the Shuttle's external tank.)

Re:Too far north. (1)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#42250885)

Don't think of it as saving fuel, think of it as increasing launchable payload with the same class launcher and therefore reducing your $/kg to orbit. For orbital satellites what it generally means is you can increase the on-orbit operational life because you can carry more reaction mass to re-boost the orbit.

Re:Too far north. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#42251105)

Don't think of it as saving fuel, think of it as increasing launchable payload with the same class launcher and therefore reducing your $/kg to orbit.

Either way, moving your launch site is a very expensive way of saving a relatively small amount of money or gaining a fairly modest amount of performance.
 

For orbital satellites what it generally means is you can increase the on-orbit operational life because you can carry more reaction mass to re-boost the orbit.

Assuming the bird in question carries re-boost fuel, or is even in an orbit that requires re-boost in the first place. Neither are universally true, or even close. (Maneuvering fuel is far more common than reboost fuel anyhow.)

Re:Too far north. (3, Interesting)

ikaruga (2725453) | about 2 years ago | (#42250088)

The furthest south they can go is the southern end of Dagestan at roughly the same latitude as New York City.
Yes, but interesting enough, Kazakhstan's most southern point is about the same as Russia's. There is really no reason to use Kazakhstan other than "saving money" instead of building a new lauch center.

Re:Too far north. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250136)

If it's such a great cost saver, why not launch from Palmyra Atoll [wikipedia.org] ?
It's uninhabited, property of the US, and about 5 degrees north of the equator.

Re:Too far north. (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 2 years ago | (#42250298)

I suspect getting things there, like space ships and people, would prove tedious. Oh and it's a national wildlife refuge.

Re:Too far north. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42252521)

Oh and it's a national wildlife refuge.

Oddly enough, so is Cape Canaveral (more or less) [fws.gov]

Re:Too far north. (1)

badfish99 (826052) | about 2 years ago | (#42250250)

Still, at 63 degrees north in Siberia they won't have so much trouble keeping the liquid oxygen in the fuel tanks cold.

Finding people who want to work there might be a problem, though. Although, on second thoughts, it might be a better job than working in the salt mines.

Re:Too far north. (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#42250709)

>Still, at 63 degrees north in Siberia

>Siberia

No. West of the Urals now... This is closer to St. Petersburg than Omsk, which is actually in Siberia.

>cold

Meh. There are far colder places to be.

>salt mines

No.

Logging. Lots and lots of logging. Go look at the river near the Ulitsa Gagarina bridge in Arkhangelsk, just north of the city center. You've never seen so many log rafts. Wood, paper mills, etc.

Where this cosmodrome is, used to be an ICBM site.

--
BMO

Re:Too far north. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250290)

Unfortunately for the Russians, they don't have anything very far south.

They have shared use of the ELS facility in French Guiana.

Re:Too far north. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250721)

They can always invade Cuba.

Better Russia... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42249930)

...than those assholes Uzbekistan.

Re:Better Russia... (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#42250341)

They very nosey people with bone in their brain.

Why? (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#42249956)

It was silly to give Kazakhstan independence in the first place.

What would Stalin have done?

Re:Why? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#42250146)

They were probably glad to be rid of MOST of it.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

lbmouse (473316) | about 2 years ago | (#42250188)

Must now obtain "WWSD" wrist band.

So not only are we dependent on the Russians... (2)

TWX (665546) | about 2 years ago | (#42250056)

...and their goodwill toward continuing to allow us access to the space station, but we're dependent on the goodwill of another nation that has felt the presence of the Russians as a thorn in their collective sides for all these years?

Mr Musk, please get your capsule man-rated as soon as you can...

Re:So not only are we dependent on the Russians... (1)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#42250951)

Meh, Dragon and Falcon 9 have been proven to work, the only thing lacking is the stamp from NASA marking them as man-rated, in actuality Falcon 9 is probably safer than anything NASA has approved as man-rated due to the nature of the engines. If we had a national security interest in reaching the ISS quickly without the Russians participation the crew capsule version of Dragon would be completed with little delay.

Job Creators (1, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | about 2 years ago | (#42250132)

All Russia has to do is threaten to move the facility. The space center is probably the area's only source of jobs. Russian just has to pretend he's Pappa John Pizza-man, and start firing people who are local because of the "onerous healthcare taxes" or something that Cossak-Stan is asking for.

Geeze. We need to get Fox News in Russia. Those guys are not corrupt enough.

Tourist Gold! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#42250164)

When they are done building the new launch center, turn the old one into a tourist destination. Space geeks from around the world would flock to see that and the Borat World amusement park next door.

Re:Tourist Gold! (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42251727)

If space geeks were willing to pay to go be a tourist there they would do it now while it is still active.

Zakharov should send a nuke up their ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250248)

I don't know but I've been told
Putin's got a network node
Likes to turn the on/off switch
Dig that sleazy commie bitch

Kazakhstan should apply for US statehood (1)

spaceman375 (780812) | about 2 years ago | (#42250337)

The US would LOVE to own that spaceport; they'd jump at the chance with promisses of lots of money. Kazakhstan would immediately be eligible for all sorts of federal grants, loans, and development incentives. The people of Kazakhstan would see a big influx of businesses and jobs, along with social programs and charities, tripping over eachother in the rush to exploit, uh, provide for the new markets. I think it would be a huge win all around. Except perhaps for Russia.

Then there really would be "Americans" who could say "I can see Russia from my front porch!"

Re:Kazakhstan should apply for US statehood (1)

atisss (1661313) | about 2 years ago | (#42251615)

Without Russian rockets it's not much of use. US already got launch facilities, but they don't have any rockets.

Crimea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250517)

Will it become another Crimea?

Did anyone else read the headline as (2)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | about 2 years ago | (#42250533)

a prelude to the first war in space?

Playing with fire (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#42250551)

Are they crazy? Do they not read the Cheezburger site on Vladurday?

OK, I'll bite... (3, Funny)

Covalent (1001277) | about 2 years ago | (#42250599)

...In Soviet Russia, Baikonur leases YOU!
...In Soviet Russia, Bribery is run by the Government!
...In Soviet Russia, corruption is impeded by rocket launches!
...In Soviet Russia, 140% of people vote for TWO Baikonurs!


Meh...these aren't very good. Somebody please do better. This is /. people. We have a reputation to maintain!

Re:OK, I'll bite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251513)

Those were pretty good if you read them with a Yakoff Smirnov accent.

Re:OK, I'll bite... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251989)

...In Soviet Russia, Covalent makes up quotes about YOU!

spent bosters ? (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | about 2 years ago | (#42250715)

A bit off-topic. Can someone tell me what happens to the spent first stage boosters when they are jettisoned? Since Baikonur and Kazakhstan are land locked, I assume they just fall back to earth (not water)? Do people live down range of Baikonur in the drop zone? Thanks.

Re:spent bosters ? (2)

tekrat (242117) | about 2 years ago | (#42252523)

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/soyuz/st25/120628newdate/ [spaceflightnow.com]

This article indicates that the four boosters on the outside of the rocket comprise the first stage, and separate into four pieces that fall north of the launch site, presumably in un-inhabited area, sort of like our New Mexico/Nevada desert where the US does stuff at White Sands or Groom Lake.

Kazakhstan, greatest country in the world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250795)

Very nice!

seriously though, we really need to step up our space and general scientific efforts in the U.S.; the Russian space program has often been a bit less than impressive, but at least they're trying

Re:Kazakhstan, greatest country in the world... (1)

dmacleod808 (729707) | about 2 years ago | (#42250843)

All other countries are run by little girls.

soooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250827)

when will Alaska get back to it's owner ? you know, being drunk, you are not competent to perform legal acts etc...

Diplomatic Team (1)

jasper160 (2642717) | about 2 years ago | (#42251761)

They should send Borat to ask Putin so space station make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan.

and NASA funds much of this (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 years ago | (#42252007)

NASA is paying $60M a seat for 4 to 6 astronaut rides a year to the space station. Russia made money when they charged $20M for private astronauts.
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