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What are we doing in space together with Belarusians?

Roscosmos CEO Yury Borisov and Union State Secretary of State Dmitry Mezentsev discussed Russian-Belarusian space projects. It was about the creation of the Russian-Belarusian spacecraft for remote sensing of the Earth (ERS) and the subsequent formation of the space constellation of the Union State.

Belarus entered the number of space states in 2012, when the BelKA satellite (an abbreviation for “Belarusian spacecraft”) was launched, designed for remote sensing of the Earth. And within the framework of the Union State, six joint space programs have already been implemented: “Cosmos-SG”, “Cosmos-NT”, “Nanotechnology-SG”, “Standardization-SG”, “Monitoring-SG”, “Technology -SG». 

The current orbital grouping of the Union State includes the same BelKA satellite and six Russian satellites of the Canopus series. The exchange of data they receive is carried out on a mutually beneficial basis. In 2020, an agreement was signed between Roscosmos and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus to expand this grouping. It is planned to launch a Russian-Belarusian high-detail shooting apparatus. It will allow you to see an object 30-50 centimeters in size from space, and the machine algorithm will recognize this image. 

said Director of the Strategic Planning Department of Roscosmos Yuri Makarov:

“First of all, it should be noted the development of small-sized on-board scientific instruments for radio tomography of the ionosphere, portable spectrometers, space plasma flow sensors, samples of experimental equipment for assessing the quality of satellite imagery materials. Mobile complexes and stations for receiving data from promising microsatellites were created, as well as technologies for obtaining light nanostructured materials with desired properties for a new generation of space technology.

New sensor and converting equipment for measurement, control and diagnostic systems of rocket and space technology in the weight dimension of 100-200 grams, functional nanostructured sensors for various purposes, nanostructured coatings and carbon materials with an increased service life and much more were tested.

Now the “Integration-SG” program is being implemented, designed for 2019-2023, to develop regulatory, methodological and software for the joint use of space remote sensing systems. I note that the demand for Earth remote sensing data and products for their processing is growing rapidly. In Russia and Belarus, the interest of consumers increases by about 30-40% annually.

At the moment, three joint programs are being formed and agreed upon:

  • “Complex-SG”. This is the development of the basic elements of orbital and ground-based facilities for the creation of multi-satellite constellations of small-sized satellites for remote sensing and near-Earth space.
  • “Kosmodozor-SG”. Development of basic elements of systems for predicting the occurrence of forest fires, identifying their sources, determining propagation trends, assessing damage based on forest management data and space monitoring using advanced target equipment of remote sensing satellites.
  • «Resurs-SG». Development of elements of on-board systems and equipment, composite materials and structures in the interests of increasing the service life and structural perfection of promising spacecraft.

In addition, the issue of the upcoming flight into orbit of the Belarusian cosmonaut is being worked out: on April 12 such Vladimir Putin gave instructions to Roscosmos by visiting the Vostochny Cosmodrome together with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. In June, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus sent a list of 29 candidates for a flight to the ISS to Roscosmos. As a result of the final selection, two candidates will be determined — the main astronaut and his backup.

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