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Baikonur launch ban extended -- report



The Bloomberg news wire is reporting this morning that Kazakhstan said
it will keep a ban on rocket launches from Baikonur until it completes a
probe of the recent Russian rocket crash and negotiates new rental
terms for the space center.  Kazakhstan said that it has received no
rent payments this year, and that Russia has violated the agreed
procedure for notifying Kazakhstan about the proposed date and time
of launches.  Kazakh officials have found rocket fuel from last Monday's
crash in the soil of Karaganda province in central Kazakhstan and
are considering evacuating the local population, they said.

Russian Prime Minister Stepashin has ordered a government commission
investigating the crash to report its findings to him by July 20, Bloomberg
quotes the Russian news agency Interfax as reporting. As for the rent,
Russia had said previously that it will pay $50 million in July and $65
million in goods by year end   However, Kazakhstan says it has received
nothing and now insists on renegotiating the entire agreement.

The resupply mission to Mir scheduled for Wednesday remains in
limbo.  Keep your fingers crossed.

73, Ray
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