Indonesia has agreed to host a spaceport for Russia's Air Launch project, with satellites to be launched from Biak Island starting in 2007.
Indonesia's National Institute for Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) says it will oversee the spaceport, but the programme will be managed and funded by newly formed private corporation Air Launch Indonesia. LAPAN says project details are being finalised with the Russian Federal Space Agency and an agreement should be concluded in early January.
Jakarta-based Air Launch Indonesia will be in charge of building and manning the spaceport, at an estimated cost of $100 million. Russian-Ukrainian venture Air Launch is building an aerospace rocket system using an Antonov An-124-200 transport and has been talking to potential Indonesian partners for several years.
BRENDAN SOBIE / SINGAPORE
Source: Flight International