Russian Space Agency to compensate Siberian man for rocket debris

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Moscow, Nov 8 (UNI) Russian Space Agency Roskosmos has agreed to pay about 4,000 dollars in compensation to a villager in southwest Siberia after a rocket fragment fell on his land, RIA Novosti reported quoting the local administration.

Boris Urmatov, a shepherd in the Republic of Altai, had demanded compensation for the February 5 incident, when a three-and-a-half-metre (11 ft) fragment from a Proton-M carrier rocket, launched from the Baikonur Space Centre, fell near his house.

In April, two villagers sued Roskosmos after rocket parts fell on their property, which is located outside the designated area for falling debris.

The local authorities have sent a letter to the Space Agency, requesting it to take measures to prevent rocket fragments falling in populated areas.

A second incident occurred on March 11 when a small fragment from another Proton rocket landed in a village in the Altai Republic, destroying a shed roof.

The Altai Republic has been used as a ''falling field'' for debris from rockets launched from the Baikonur Space Centre, leased from Kazakhstan, for more than 40 years.

Experts estimate that about 2.5 metric tons of ''space waste'' has fallen in unpopulated areas of the republic during this period.

Many local residents say they have experienced health problems as a result, although it has not been officially confirmed.

UNI XC SKB VC1859

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