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Russia Hands Over Satellite To Kazakhstan --> A rocket carrying the KazSat-1 satellite launches in Kazakhstan in June (AFP) PRAGUE, October 18, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Russia has handed over control of the KazSat-1 communications satellite and its ground control station to Kazakhstan.

A statement posted on the website of Roskosmos, Russia's state space agency, says the transfer went into effect on October 17.

The Russian-built KazSat-1 is Kazakhstan's first-ever geostationary communications satellite. It was put into orbit on June 18 by a Russian launcher.

Russia's state-owned Khrunichev space research center, which built KazSat-1, last month won a tender to develop a second Kazakh communications satellite.

KazSat-2 is expected to cost twice as mush as KazSat-1. It is due to be launched in 2009.

(, Central Newsroom)