With the global space launch services market growing continuously and expected to grow healthy, India’s Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix) is looking at countries such as Kazakhstan for launch service revenue opportunity.
Antrix, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is participating in KADEX for the first time. Space tech- nology development is among the key themes of the event. Kazakhstan and India have been discussing areas within the field of outer space, in which ISRO and the Kazakh space agency, KazCosmos, could collaborate. These include space communications systems, launch vehicles and systems, space engineering components, Earth remote probing systems and small satellites. In 2009, ISRO and KazCosmos signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was part of a series of important agreements signed between the two countries during the visit of Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Also, in 2017, ISRO launched a Kazakh nano-satellite, Al-Farabi-1, aboard its PSLV-C37 rocket which set a record for launching 104 satellites at a time. Antrix promotes and commercially markets the products and services emanating from the Indian space pro- gramme. KazCosmos is a relatively new space agency, and was established in 2007. So far, Kazakhstan has put three communications satellites into orbit, Kazsat-1, Kazsat-2, and Kazsat-3. Kazakhstan is giving priority to its space programme. Kazakh Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry Beibut Atamkulov said other than focussing on defence production, another task for the
current year is the launch of remote sensing satellites for scientific and technological purposes.
“The system consists of two spacecraft and their terrestrial complexes. At present, the satellites are assembled and undergoing their final tests. Their launch is planned for the end of this year with the help of the Falcon-9 launch vehicle.”
This year, Kazakhstan’s space agency, Kazcosmos, celebrates its 25th anniversary. The minister noted that since its launch, the fundamentals of a new branch, a science-intensive high-tech space industry that had never existed in Kazakhstan, had been created from the ground up. Over the years, the safety and restoration of the capacities of the world-famous Baikonur cosmodrome was ensured and the available space infrastructure of the country was systematised. Enterprises were established in all strategic areas of development of space activities. Tremendous work was done to train scientific and engineering staff that serve as the backbone of the space industry.
A partnership has been established with the world’s leading space powers, including Russia, France, Germany, the UAE and Saudi Arabia and India. “As you may know, we will commission the Baiterek space rocket complex, which will allow Kazakhstan to preserve the prospects of the Baikonur cos- modrome and enter the world market of commercial launches,” said the minister.
Another ambitious project of the ministry is the launch of the Spacecraft Assembly and Testing Complex in Astana. A complete production cycle, from design to assembly and testing of satellites weighing from 100 kilogrammes to 6 tonnes, as well as manufacturing of components for satellites, will be per- formed at the enterprise. The plant will allow the domestic space industry to enter a new stage of development.