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6 Jan 2017

Belarus’ Academy of Sciences to start making BKA-2 satellite in 2017

MINSK, 6 January (BelTA) – The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) will start making the second satellite for the remote sensing of the Earth BKA-2 in 2017, BelTA learned from NASB Chief of Staff Piotr Vityaz during the presentation of the Year of Science in Belarus on 6 January.

Piotr Vityaz said: “A new branch of science — space research — emerged in Belarus in the last two years. We have created a system for the remote sensing of the Earth for this kind of research. We also have a satellite of our own. We are now working to create a new remote sensing satellite with the 0.5 meter resolution. Our job this year is to start making it. We have already worked out the engineering specifications and have signed the necessary contracts.”

The official explained that the space data sent by the first satellite for the remote sensing of the Earth is used by eleven Belarusian ministries. “The operation of the BKA-1 satellite has been extended by two years. It has already been agreed with Roscosmos. Apart from that, together with the Belarusian State University we have created a nanosatellite that needs to be launched this year. It is also necessary to create a control system. I think we are going to do it together in order to use the satellite not only for educational purposes but scientific ones as well,” said Piotr Vityaz.

BelTA reported earlier that the new satellite will be made using the manufacturing cooperation schemes that were utilized to make BKA-1. The Russian side will be represented by VNIIEM Corporation. The core equipment will be made by the Belarusian company Peleng. The BKA-2 satellite will allow making topographic maps with the 1-10,000 scale. The product can then be used for various land cadaster tasks. Belarus intends to insert the satellite into orbit in late 2019.

The first Belarusian satellite for the remote sensing of the Earth was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on 22 July 2012 as part of a cluster of five satellites. At present BKA-1 provides space imagery for 21 organizations, which are accountable to 11 Belarusian ministries, in addition to taking shots for a number of foreign customers.

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