International Launch Services is to launch DirecTV-8, a Space Systems/ Loral 1300-series communications satellite, from Baikonur in the second quarter of 2005.

India is to launch a 500kg (1,100lb) recoverable capsule next year as a precursor to a potential manned spaceflight, and says the uprated GSLV-III launcher, set to fly in 2008, will be able to carry a 10t crewed capsule.

Kazakhstan plans its first communications satellite under its $345 million 2005-7 space budget.

Source: Flight International