Belarus plans to launch its satellite for the remote sensing of the Earth BKA-2 from Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome in 2019, Sergei Zolotoi, Director of the R&D enterprise Geoinformation Systems of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus told a press conference hosted by BelTA on 20 January.
“We plan the launch of BKA-2 in late 2019, perhaps in early 2020. We are currently considering the Vostochny Cosmodrome,” he said.
Sergei Zolotoi said that the launch of BKA-1 was delayed by six months. “We planned the launch in December 2011. The kick-off took place in July 2012. Kazakhstan could not coordinate the impact point area with Russia. These are interstate procedures that cannot be influenced from outside. In case with the Vostochny Cosmodrome, all these matters will be addressed faster as it is within the Russian area of coverage. Hence, as soon as the satellite is ready, we will be able to launch it,” he explained.
The director of the R&D enterprise Geoinformation Systems stressed that BKA-2 would be different from the country’s first satellite. “The second spacecraft will have 50cm image resolution. The satellite will make stereoscopic shots, the function which considerably expands the range of the spacecraft’s missions. It would be possible to develop a matrix for topographic maps. BKA-1 cannot do this,” he said.
BelTA reported earlier that the new satellite will be made using the manufacturing cooperation schemes that were utilized to make BKA-1. The Russian side will be represented by VNIIEM Corporation. The core equipment will be made by the Belarusian company Peleng. The BKA-2 satellite will allow making topographic maps with the 1-10,000 scale. The product can then be used for various land cadaster tasks.
The first Belarusian satellite for the remote sensing of the Earth was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on 22 July 2012 as part of a cluster of five satellites. At present BKA-1 provides space imagery for 21 organizations, which are accountable to 11 Belarusian ministries, in addition to taking shots for a number of foreign customers.