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Indonesian Spaceport on Biak Island, West Papua

BCFOS -- Since 2006 Indonesia and Russia have been discussing the possibility of launching a satellite from Biak island using Air Launch technology. Indonesian space agency, LAPAN and Russian Federal Space Agency (RKA) have worked on a government-to-government agreement in space cooperation in order to enable such activities in Indonesia.

It is planned that Antonov An-124 aircraft will deliver a Polyot space launch vehicle to the new Indonesian spaceport on Biak island (West Papua province). This spaceport is well suited to commercial launches as it sits almost exactly on the equator - any space vehicle launched at the equator has a greater initial velocity imparted to it, making higher velocity or heavier payloads possible. In the spaceport, the launch vehicle will be fuelled and the satellites will be loaded on it.

The Antonov An-124 carrying the launch vehicle is to fly at 10 km altitude above the ocean East of Biak island to jettison the launch vehicle. In 2012, discussions resumed. The main stumbling block is Russian concerns over compliance with the terms of the Missile Technology Control Regime; Russia is a co-signatory, Indonesia is not.

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