9 July 2004 -- Kazakhstan today announced its intention to set up its own space program.
Kazakhstan is home to the Baikonur launch site, but leases it to Russia. Kazakh Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov said today that with Moscow's help, his country plans to build a new launch pad designed for a new generation of environmentally-friendly "Angara" space rockets.
The current launch vehicle used by Russia, the Soyuz, uses fuel that pollutes the countryside surrounding Baikonur.
Akhmetov said the equivalent of $200 million will be spent to build the new site.