Russia will guarantee its full space independence with a new cosmodrome in the country's far eastern Amur region, the BBC reports. Prime minister Vladimir Putin has confirmed that the $800m facility - first announced back in 2007 - should be up and running by 2015. The chosen site is close to the town of Uglegorsk, some 100km …
"earmark 24.7 billion rubles"
That's almost $73 in US currency. Wow. I wonder if they'll have platinum toilet seats in their shiny new cosmodrome.
Dollar Ruble exchange
I'll give you US$73 for 24.7 billion rubles - I would even give you US$73 for 24.7 million rubles. Platinum toilet seats seem a bit unlikely but I would bet that like the last 30 years, they will continue to launch rockets with a low failure rate that NASA has yet to achieve.
Would be interesting to compare...
I just saw Kennedy Space Center last week. (The new Saturn V facility is insanely cool, it includes Kitty Hawk, the Apollo 14 command module.) It would be neat to look at the differences in the Russian approach to a spaceport.
If Baikonur is anything to go by, the Russians won't bother so much about the museum and tourist side of things but the night life will be a lot more fun but with big headaches in the mornings. You have to wonder why so many guys would be so keen to stay in the middle of a desert in Kazakhstan for 3 to 6 months....
Paris Hilton because there is no Anna Chapman or Anna Kournikova icon
Ah, I get it.
I know what you mean. In 1992 I had a beer with a Ukrainian MiG-29 pilot after he performed at a Canadian airshow. I was glad I did not have to drive after that mess hall party.
I was going to ask: Of all the places they have they pick one 100km off the border with China?
But google maps tells me Uglegorsk is on Sakhalin island and not at all within 100km of the Chineso-Russian border. The southern tip of that island is close to Japan, though, and in fact Japan disputes ownership of the island. As such it's more of a finger in Japan's eye than anything to do with China. So, what gives?
Uglegorsk in Amur
"...google maps tells me Uglegorsk is on Sakhalin island and not at all within 100km of the Chineso-Russian border."
This is not the Uglegorsk you are looking for.... The one you want is further west in Amur province - try searching Google for " Uglegorsk Amur".
What will be interesting is if they allow loads of Chinese workers to help build the new cosmodrome or whether they keep it an all Russian affair. The level of Chinese immigration in the far east of Russia is sensitive issue in Russia.
Back to the original question then.
100km off the Chinese border is a bit of a statement, and given the tough talk and pix of half nekkid putin swiming in some river or other, there's no way it isn't deliberate. But do they mean it as a finger in the eye or a held-out hand, join in? Probably need to be Russian to know and Chinese to read how Peking'll see it. Maybe they'll go for some special zone like how China is nibbling on capitalism?
In Putin's Russia, carrot beats stick?
Interesting to note that Uglegorsk
is located in that part of Southeastern Siberia that was ceded by the Qing Empire (China) to its Russian counterpart in the Treaty of Aihun (Aigun) in 1858. Noting population trends in the region, one can wonder how long that «independent access» will last. Or perhaps the Russian government, in building this centre, is sending a signal to the Chinese that they intend to stay....
in soviet russia
rocket launches you!
mines the one with the
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