Interview with Prof. Meirbek MOLDABEKOV, Deputy Chairman, National space agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazkosmos)
26 January, 2010, APRSAF-16
1) Could you introduce the National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan and tell us about its current status and activities?
The National space agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan was established by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan on 27 March, 2007.
Kazcosmos is a state body under the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan that implements the government regulation in the field of space activities.
National hero of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Hero of Russia, Pilot-Cosmonaut, Lieutenant-General of the Air-Force Talgat Mussabayev was appointed as Chairman of Kazcosmos.
Main tasks of Kazcosmos:
- Formation of unified state policy in the field of space activities and implementation of its main directions
- Implementation of, within its competence, state regulations and coordination of activities in the space field
- Building and development of the space industry in the Republic of Kazakhstan, including target space systems, facilities of ground space infrastructure, space research and technologies, human resource capacity
- Creation of conditions for the establishment of space technologies and services
- Creation of a legal framework for space activities in the Republic of Kazakhstan
- Implementation of state control in the field of space activities
- Implementation of international cooperation in the field of space activities, coordination within the limits of its competence on the lease of the “Baikonur ” complex by the Russian Federation.
Under the Kazcosmos structure, organizations such as: JSC “National Centre for Space Researches and Technologies ”, RSE “Infrakos ”, JSC “Joint Kazakhstan-Russian Enterprise “Baiterek ”, JSC “National Company “Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary ” , JSC “Republican Centre of Communications and Electromagnetic Compatibility of Radio-electronics Devices ”, subsidiary “Infrakos-Ecos ” all function.
2) What about plans for 2010 and in future?
The guiding line of development for the Republic of Kazakhstan is its Strategy of industrial and innovative development in Kazakhstan till 2015, approved by our Head of State and also the objective for which our society is striving, namely to have Kazakhstan included in the 50 most competitive countries of the world. It is only possible to achieve these aims through scientific-technical and innovative progress, in which the key role is engaging in science and hi-tech space activity.
The necessity for long-term development of the national space activity is supported by our Head of State and the Government. Kazcomos drafted the State space program till 2020, the purpose of which is to create a full-value space branch in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Today Kazcosmos and subsidiaries conduct active and fruitful work on developing space activities in the following main areas:
- Creation of the “Kazsat” communication and broadcasting space system
- Creation, together with Russia, of a “Baiterek” space rocket complex at the “Baikonur “ cosmodrome, on the basis of the Russian “Angara “ carrier rocket
- Building and startup of the Assembly and Testing Complex of spacecraft on the development, design and test of spacecraft , exploiting the experience and technologies of the strategic partner -- the leading European space company EADS Astrium
- Building of the National system of space monitoring of the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which will provide for the development of basic infrastructure under the National Centre for Space Researches and Technologies and the creation of thematic subsystems to benefit the republic economic branches
- Creation of the Earth Remote Sensing Space System of the Republic of Kazakhstan
- Creation of a system of professional training and retraining of the engineering-technical and science specialists for space activity.
3) What is your impression of APRSAF to date? How would you like to get involved in the APRSAF in the future?
In December 2008 the Kazakhstan delegation, at the invitation of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), participated for the first time in APRSAF-15. What we saw and heard at the forum surpassed all our expectations. We saw that our colleagues had ambitious aims and achieved wonderful results in the sphere of creating and using space techniques for solving socioeconomic development and scientific tasks. We were particularly impressed with the progress of colleagues from Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. For us, their experience represents a great interest and an example to emulate.
APRSAF has proved itself not only a regional leader, but also a world- famous forum, which has made a substantial contribution to promote concrete initiatives toward problem-solving, not only of the Asia-Pacific region, but also the entire world using space technology.
Kazakhstan considers cooperation with states in the Asia-Pacific Region in the field of space activities to have great potential, and we prioritize the participation of our delegation at the Forum. Here we can directly receive information on the implementation of space programs and the development of space activities in Asia -Pacific countries having achieved high results in the sphere of industrial and innovative development. We also wish to promote joint projects in the field of space activities and contribute to developing space technologies for sustainable progress, not only of the Asia-Pacific region but also the entire world.
We are currently carefully studying APRSAF projects, such as - Sentinel Asia (Disaster Management Support System in the Asia-Pacific Region), STAR (Satellite Technology for the Asia-Pacific Region) and SAFE (Space Applications for Environment). To date, Kazakhstan has not had the opportunity to join these programmes, but we are considering this possibility.
4) Do you have any specific WGs and/or Initiatives in which you wish to participate?
Of course, we are planning to participate and make reports in the Working Groups, and the representatives of the National Centre for Space Researches and Technologies in particular will make a report in "Earth Observation" WG. In future we are supposed to extend our participation in WGs.
5) Do you have any ideas for the new activities that you would like the APRSAF to have?
I would like to note that APRSAF participating countries conduct fruitful activities under the Forum and promote advanced ideas and initiatives on the use of space technologies, aimed at ensuring the safety and prosperity of countries in the region.
Today Kazakhstan is in the initial stages of developing its national space industry. Moreover, we need time to study the APRSAF activity and its main directions in order to generate and promote specific ideas and initiatives.