BLAGOVESHCHENSK, April 12 (Itar-Tass) - It is planned to spend 1.6 trillion roubles on space-related activities till the year 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
“About 1.6 trillion roubles will be allocated to finance space activities under the corresponding state program in the period from 2013 to 2020,” Putin said at a meeting dedicated to problems of the development of the space sector. According to the president, special focus is to be on the most promising areas, such as applied research.
A total of 181 billion roubles have been allocated to finance Russia’s space programs in 2013, Putin noted. “It is a three-fold increase on 2008. In terms of overall financing, we are ranking third after the United States and Europe, while in terms of average annual growth of state financing of such programs, we have outstripped leading space powers almost by five times,” the stressed. In his words, increased financing has made it possible to complete the deployment of the GLONASS system and fulfill obligations as concerns the International Space Station.
At the same time, the president admitted that the space sector is faced with a number of problems that are hampering its development. These problems emerged in the years when the country had not money to invest the space sector and had to operate what had been done in the Soviet era. These reserves proved to be reliable enough to allow the country to keep its strong positions. “Thus, about 30-40 percent of global launches are performed by Russian carrier rockets Proton, Soyuz, and others,” Putin noted.
He cited experts who predict a stable growth in global demand for space-related products. By 2013, such demand is to reach 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars. “And we must make use of such possibilities,” he stressed.
According to Putin, the commissioning of the Vostochny space launch pad will be a milestone event in the development of the space sector. “First rocket launches are scheduled for 2015,” he reminded. “In 2020, the Vostochny space centre is to be fully commissioned. It means that it will be used to launch orbiting space station modules and interplanetary vehicles to explore the Moon, Mars and other planets.” In his words, Vostochy is to be not a mere launching pad but a real research centre.