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Lawmakers oppose Roskosmos funding reduction and GLONASS system scrapping

July 26, 2013, 12:06 UTC+3

Members of the State Duma consider the space programs funding reduction proposed by the government unacceptable

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MOSCOW, July 26. /ITAR-TASS /. Members of the State Duma demand from the government to prevent reduction of Roskosmos programs funding, since it may lead to a scrap to GLONASS system functioning and Vostochny booster side building.

According to the minutes of the Duma Committee on Industry, adopted after the meeting with Roskosmos head Vladimir Popovkin, the proposal is to reduce budget funding of the state space program of Russia in 2014 for 11.7 billion rubles, in 2015 - for 13.5 billion rubles and for 40 billion rubles in 2016. In addition to this, the federal space program of Russia for 2006-2015 /FSP-2015/ already lacks of 10.5 billion rubles funding, and this year there has been a 2.3 billion rubles additional reduction in R&D under this program.

“The FSP-2015 underfunding currently amounts to 12.5 billion rubles. These finances were intended to build and put into operation phase 1 of Vostochny booster side using the middle-class Soyuz-2 space rocket system,” First Deputy Head of Duma’s Industrial Committee Vladimir Gutenev explained.

He added that the lack of funding necessary to finish the construction of Soyuz-2 space rocket system on Vostochny booster side given the program’s underfunding would lead to 2-3 year delay in phase 1 facilities commissioning. “To carry out the Russian President’s decree “On Vostochny booster side”, as well as the government’s proxy on creation of heavy space-launch system Angara at Vostochny, which will provide space launches since 2018, as well as the transition from 2020 to launches from this booster side in all the specter of tasks, there is a need of funds transfer within the framework of FSP-2015 in the amount of 40.3 billion rubles from the period of 2016 - 2020 to 2014 – 2015,” the lawmaker noted.

In addition, the lawmakers are anxious about budget sequestration for GLONASS system. “A cut in GLONASS federal program funding will lead to a reduction of the orbital grouping system below acceptable levels, amid working GPS and Galileo systems and developing COMPASS this would lead to loss of confidence among the international community to the GLONASS system and, consequently, to a reduction in its use globally. Russia will lose a strategic global instrument of political and economic prestige,” Gutenev said.

In this regard, the State Duma Industrial Committee has recommended the government of Russia “to maintain funding of federal space programs in the amounts provided for the approved state program”.

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