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Belarus to announce tender for new national satellite

RIA Novosti

17/08/2006 15:00 MOSCOW REGION, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - Belarus will announce a tender by the end of the week for a new national BelKa satellite to replace the one destroyed when a Russian rocket crashed in Kazakhstan in July, a source involved in the negotiations said Thursday.

A Dnepr rocket carrying the Belarusian satellite, along with several international satellites, crashed shortly after liftoff from the Baikonur space center due to a first stage engine shutdown on July 26.

"We expect Belarus to announce a tender this Friday for a new BelKa national satellite, in which at least three Russian companies will take part," the source said.

"One option is to build the satellite using the platform created by [Russian rocket and space corporation] Energia, and another is to use the production platform of [Russian state research and production space center] Khrunichev, with optical and electronic work to be carried out by Belarus," he said.

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