MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. Members of the State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament have proposed to unify the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) with the United Rocket and Space Corporation (URCS), first deputy head of the house committee for industry Vladimir Gutenev told reporters on Friday.
“The recent reform of Roscosmos with the division of functions of the customer and contractor, unfortunately, has not considerably improved the sector’s efficiency,” Gutenev said.
According to him, serious shortcomings in the construction of the Vostochny (Eastern) spaceport in the Russian Far East that may disrupt the schedule of the state programme implementation, revealed by the Accounts Chamber inspections, are a typical example of this. “In this connection I consider it expedient, by the example of Rosatom that has displayed major successes, to unify Roscosmos with the United Rocket and Space Corporation. I think that this model will work also for the space industry,” said the lawmaker.
Gutenev said that “consolidation of the potential of our space industry, maximal concentration of all functions and capacities within a single structure is necessary,” especially “in light of new possibilities for co-operation in the rocket and space sphere.” He named among such possibilities, in particular, the development of Russian-American scientific and technological co-operation. Gutenev cited as an example the conclusion by Russia’s NPO Energomash, one of the world’s leading rocket engine manufacturers, of a contract on the supply of the RD-181 rocket engines to the American Orbital corporation. The engines will be used in the first stage of the Antares rocket stating from 2015. The contract sum is close to $1 billion.
“It’s gratifying, despite the current pressure of politics on the economy, that the American business community has displayed pragmatism. They understand that despite the sanctions, such a grandiose subject as space exploration cannot be handled alone. And the contract with Orbital Corp is not the only example. Russia continues titanium supplies to the aircraft corporation Boeing. Boeing and Lockheed have put forward proposals on new projects. In addition, NASA wants to prolong co-operation on the International Space Station (ISS),” Gutenev said.