http://gdb.rferl.org/B89A4F9C-1B1E-4FAA-9B53-BC5A5C215DEE_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/B89A4F9C-1B1E-4FAA-9B53-BC5A5C215DEE_mw800_mh600.jpg
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.
(roscosmos.ru, Central Newsroom)