CIS countries to cooperate in space

By: Nigar Orujova

Space research has not lost its luster and today more countries want to have their vehicles in the skies. CIS countries are not an exception and have expressed interest in cooperating in space.

The protocol on cooperation of the CIS countries in space was signed in Minsk on October 23. The partners agreed to establish an international intergovernmental research organization – the Joint Institute for Space Research, the Russian Federal Space Agency reported.

One of the main points of the protocol is an agreement on the preparation of the draft of the Joint Institute for Space Research.

The final protocol was signed following a two-day meeting of representatives of the executive bodies of the CIS countries dedicated to space cooperation last week.

Representatives of Azerbaijan, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine also agreed to establish a new contractual-legal base for multilateral cooperation and an interstate system to monitor emergency and inter-regional satellite systems.

They also agreed on the need to integrate land-based infrastructures using a signal from the Global Navigation Satellite System, cooperation in the space field and the creation of a unified system of satellite monitoring of agricultural land.

“The partners stressed the need for the development of joint work on the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, taking into account the priorities established by the CIS Development Concept and an action plan for the implementation of the second phase (2012-2015) of the CIS Economic Development Strategy for the period up to 2020,” the statement says.

Geopolitics has not affected the cooperation of CIS countries in the space sector, the head of the Russian Space Agency, Igor Komarov, told the Belarusian Telegraph Agency.

“In the space sector, we have traditionally good communication. It’s connected with the fact that we’re working on common challenges related to space exploration and the problems that occur on our lands. Of course, there should be very closely interact with all the partners, and they should be out of politics,” he said.

Azerbaijan entered the space club in February 2013 with the launch of the first Azerbaijani telecommunications satellite Azerspace-1, which provides digital television, data transmission, VSAT multi-service networks, and governmental communications services.

Azerspace-1 covers the countries of Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa. Moreover, the country operates the low-orbital satellite AzerSky and plans to launch another telecommunication satellite Azerspace-2 by the end of 2017.

At present, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have orbiting satellites in space.