By Tatiana Veliaminova
A Belarusian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on co-operation aims to promote the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. Signed at a session of the Union State’s Council of Ministers in Minsk, it outlines our plans to continue collaboration in the design and manufacture of modern space technologies, while creating joint space craft. We aim to send a group of Union State satellites into orbit, with the cluster launch of a Belarusian satellite and a Russian
Kanopus-B satellite as the first step. Meanwhile, surface-based infrastructure is to be united.
Belarus and Russia plan to use this satellite group not only to satisfy their own demand for space data but to export information to other countries. The signed agreement provides for manufacturing co-operation between our two states’ companies, regarding the design and manufacture of high-tech products and components used for remote Earth sensing, space communication and navigation. The move will ensure new jobs in the space industry, with various training programmes offered.
This year, the Belarusian satellite should go into orbit, alongside the Russian Kanopus-B satellite, launched from Baikonur on a Soyuz carrier rocket and a Fregat booster module. They’ll orbit at 500-520km above the Earth’s surface. The Belarusian satellite is lighter and more manoeuvrable than its predecessor, weighing just 400kg and with a resolution of about 2 metres, providing images of Belarus from space. In future, Belarus plans to set up a multiple-layer sensing system, which will include an aviation segment, represented by pilotless aircraft.