Wednesday, July 14, 1999 Published at 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Vital Mir mission gets go-ahead
The supply flight to Mir must leave by 20 July
The Kazakhstan government will allow a vital flight to the Mir space station to take off from its Baikonur launch pad on 16 July, said government spokesman Sergei Sivun.
The agreement with Russia ends the ban on launches imposed by Kazakhstan after a Proton booster rocket carrying a Russian military satellite exploded shortly after lift-off last week.
The rocket explosion led to widespread dispersal of toxic rocket fuel and a part of the rocket fell into a woman's backyard, several hundred kilometres away.
The Kazakh authorities then made a number of demands:
However, the Russian media have said the ban was imposed solely to force Russia to pay its debt.
The flight to Mir is needed to deliver food and water to the three cosmonauts on board. It will also bring equipment essential for maintaining control of the space station when the cosmonauts leave and the station is mothballed in August.
"We must not allow the Mir space station to fly out of control," said the head of the Russian Space Agency, Yuri Koptev.
The supply flight was due to lift-off on Wednesday. The Russians said 20 July was the last date possible for the launch - after that Mir moves to a new orbit, making it very difficult to reach the space station.
The latest launch failure is of concern to the nations involved in the International Space Station because the next phase of the project is due to be launched on board a Proton vehicle in November.