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20 Jan 2017

Belarus to start making BKA-2 satellite in Q1 2017

MINSK, 20 January (BelTA) – Belarus will start making the second Belarusian satellite for the high-resolution remote sensing of the Earth (BKA-2) in Q1 2017, BelTA learned from Sergei Zolotoi, Director of the R&D enterprise Geoinformation Systems of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB), on 20 January.

According to the source, financing will become available in Q1 2017. “The project has already begun. It is proceeding now upon initiatives of the manufacturing company and the customer. We expect the financing of the main work to begin in Q1 2017,” said Sergei Zolotoi. He noted that the satellite is scheduled for launch in late 2019.

Once money is available, the acquisition of components will begin. After that the booster rocket will be ordered and it takes two years to make one. “We intend to stay on schedule for the launch date,” stated Sergei Zolotoi.

The Director of the R&D enterprise Geoinformation Systems explained that talking about the cost of the BKA-2 satellite is premature for now because not all the contracts have been signed. He noted that Saudi Arabia is busy creating two satellites with similar parameters. The tender was called two years ago and their cost stands at $900 million. “Our project will be three to four times cheaper but we will be able to talk about the final sum once the contracts are signed,” remarked Sergei Zolotoi.

BelTA reported earlier that the BKA-2 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.

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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