Kazakh first cosmonaut: Kazakh people not to be able to fly into space soon
Kazakhstan, Astana, Jan. 6 / Trend A. Muratov /
Kazakh citizens will not be able to fly into space, where the Baikonur launch site is situated, for the another two to three years, Kazakh first cosmonaut and hero of the Soviet Union, Tokhtar Aubakirov told media on the sidelines of the International Conference on "Space for the benefit of mankind - a look into the future", held today in Astana.
"No one will fly for the nearest 2-3 years. I am upset by this fact," Aubakirov said, answering journalists' questions about the time when the Kazakh citizens' will get a chance to be on space flights.
This issue has been raised on different levels in Kazakhstan for several years.
"I believe that Kazakhstan's manned space flights have future. We must go further", the astronaut said.
Tokhtar Aubakirov, flew into space on Oct. 2, 1991.
Commenting on the establishment of the first space agency of the country, Aubakirov said this would imply that "there must be people who have touched this space. The agency was created for space exploration. It means that these must be our astronauts."
At the same time, Aubakirov said that today two Kazakhs were trained and were ready to fly into space, but due to lack of proper funding, this question has been postponed for an indefinite period.
"These are two of our guys. The first one is Aydin Aimbetov. He works in the national space agency. The second one is Mukhtar Aymahanov. He intends to take Russian citizenship, because he thinks that he will be able to fly into space from this country soon," Aubakirov said.
He said that Kazakhstan needs strong personnel today to implement all its plans in space.
"We have a lot of specialists. They are Kazakhs who moved to neighboring Russia. We should gather them, return to their homeland and not to grudge funds," he said.
He said that today, there are two schools training people for the space industry, one in Baikonur ant the other in Almaty.
However, relevant funding is required for their further development.
"Everything is possible with money. Nothing will happen without money," Aubakirov said.
Born on July 27, 1946 in the Karkaraly district of Karaganda region in Kazakhstan, Tokhtar Aubakirov is the256th world cosmonaut and the 72nd and last USSR cosmonaut. He is the first Kazakh cosmonaut and the MP of the Kazakh Supreme Council of XII convocation.