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UAE to raise private money to help refurbish Baikonur launchpad

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has struck a deal with both Russia and Kazakhstan to jointly work together to upgrade the oldest Soyuz launchpad at Baikonur, the one used to put Yuri Gagarin into orbit in 1961.

The most interesting aspect of the deal is its private investment component:

The modernisation of the spaceport involves reconstructing the site to allow for more launches, including commercial and human space flights to the International Space Station.

As part of the agreement, all three parties will bring investors forward to contribute towards the upgrade.

“The UAE space agency is not investing or facilitating as the government. We’re looking for private partners within the UAE to partake. There’s a lot of interest,” Mr Al Qasim said.

This suggests that in exchange for providing private capital, the UAE will obtain launching rights at Baikonur, available for its own privately-built rockets. None yet exist, but it is clear the UAE government is encouraging such activity.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • Jeff Wright

    I would like to call this good news, but….

    Don’t be too quick to celebrate this. I would prefer Putin support this with public funds-and you should too, Robert.

    If I was an islamic terrorist-with money that is-what better way to get ahold of an ICBM than to have an UAE space “front” company buy assets from disinterested Russians perhaps leaving Muslim Kazakhstan anyway?
    If I wanted to nuke Israel…it is how I would do it.
    An Islamic R-7 is a horror!

    Much too far for air strikes. A simple gun-style fission bomb could be larger and better shielded since R-7 is now only an IRBM that doesn’t have to go far down range. Instead, the warhead can be lobbed very high-far higher than any puny SCUD.

    The warhead would come down faster and be much harder to hit. The warhead bus could have ample thruster fuel to dodge less capable IDF missiles with nothing close to R-7’s throw-weight. Semyorka wasn’t just the first ICBM-but the largest to ever have an actual nuke.

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