From a cosmic height

[b]Belarus’ revenue from innovative equipment production to be measured to $1bn in the future[/b]According to the company’s General Director, Vladimir Pokryshkin, it’s now possible to say that the country has its own cosmic sub-branch — space engineering, with Peleng at its hub. After the USSR’s collapse, the enterprise continued to exist courtesy of military orders but its activity has now been diversified, with significant investment into the modernisation and development of its production.
Belarus’ revenue from innovative equipment production to be measured
to $1bn in the future


Combination of science and creative work is the reality <br />of PelengAccording to the company’s General Director, Vladimir Pokryshkin, it’s now possible to say that the country has its own cosmic sub-branch — space engineering, with Peleng at its hub. After the USSR’s collapse, the enterprise continued to exist courtesy of military orders but its activity has now been diversified, with significant investment into the modernisation and development of its production.
Peleng produces civilian devices and develops space technologies, making various optical and electronic instruments. Its comparison microscope enjoys huge demand (used by criminologists) and the company produces a wide range of meteorological equipment, used by meteo-stations. It is also developing systems to protect the border. However, Peleng’s developments in the field of space engineering are most promising from the state’s point of view. So far, it has participated in 35 spacecraft launches. Peleng’s specialists have also participated in the making of a Belarusian satellite for remote Earth monitoring — due to be launched in Q1 of 2011, jointly with Russian Canopus-B (an exact copy of the Belarusian satellite). Peleng’s optic-electronic telescopes for satellites have been highly praised by the All-Russian Scientific-Research Institute of Electromechanics (VNIIEM). Space engineering companies from Russia and further abroad are now showing commercial interest and Peleng is working on a new orbital telescope to receive pictures with a 1m resolution.
Mr. Pokryshkin notes that the company has concrete proposals from foreign partners and about $130m of orders are being negotiated. Peleng has a solid reputation abroad, always fulfilling its obligations under concluded contracts and agreements.
Mr. Lukashenko has acquainted himself with Peleng’s new develop-ments, having visited its design department, as well as its optical and mechanical workshops, its surface mounting workshop, its X-ray lab and its spacecraft assembly workshop at its research-and-design Kosmos division. Talking to Mr. Pokryshkin, the President noted that the state would contribute to further developments into space engineering in Belarus, adding that revenue from this segment should reach $1bn.
“Seeders, tractors and combine harvesters are good but space technologies are the key,” the President emphasised. “The country must have another face — another mentality. Our direction should be towards billion-dollar landmarks in the space engineering sphere. If any help is needed, we’ll provide it.” The President also inspected a new building under construction, where space equipment is to be assembled and tested. In Novem-ber, construction works should be complete, allowing modern equipment to be installed.

By Vitaly Volyanyuk
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