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Head of Baikonur cosmodrome resigns

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Evgeniy Anissimov.Evgeniy Anissimov.Evgeniy Anissimov, Head of Baikonur cosmodrome, has resigned, according to Kazakhstan's

According to an unidentified source, Mr. Anissimov was called to Moscow to meet Oleg Ostapenko, Head of Russia’s Roskosmos National Space Agency. He arrived for the appointment; however, there were no actual talks. Reportedly he was suggested to resign.

Ms. Irina Zubareva, spokeswoman of the Roskosmos Head, confirmed his resignation. She elaborated the decision “was taken for personal reasons”.

According to the source, Mr. Anissimov just happened not to fit in the new team of the Space Agency. There were no obvious reasons for his resignation: he had been working at Baikonur for over 30 years with no one filing any complaints about his job. 

According to some sources, one of the reasons for resignation was Mr. Anissimov’s friendship with Alexander Fadeeyv , ex-Head of the Center for Operation of Space Ground-Based Infrastructure; the latter reportedly has had some tensions with Oleg Ostapenko.

Baikonur is closer to the Equator than other launch sites – a situation that facilitates geostationary orbit or orbits less inclined to reach the International Space Station (ISS). This privileged geographic placement enables the launch of more significant payloads.

The cosmodrome has been rented out since 1994. Annual rent stands at $115 million.

The town accommodates over 70 000 people, with 37% being Russia’s citizens. About 4 000 Russia’s citizens are here almost permanently on business trips to facilitate space launches. The town budget receives over 1 billion roubles ($28.8 million) a year from the Russian federal budget.

Russia’s Roskosmos Federal Space Agency spent over $33.3 million in 2012 to maintain infrastructure and space facilities at the Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported February 1, 2013, citing Yuzhny Space Center Evgeniy Anissimov as saying.

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February 18 2014, 10:35

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