MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. The Russian government will continue to render all possible support to the space sector, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a concert to mark the Cosmonautics Day on Friday night.
"I would like to stress once again: let’s render all the required assistance and support to the Russian cosmonautics," Putin said.
"Leadership must always be proved by the ability to challenge powerful and growing competitors, by solving complicated tasks," the Russian leader added. "Today, being among the leading world powers - or, in other words, being a leader the ground - requires being a leader in space as well."
In his speech, Putin also outlined priorities for Russia’s space industry, describing space exploration as an important area of the national development.
"In the coming years, we will continue to deploy communication, navigation and remote sensing systems. To that end, we are set to boost our satellite constellations, including on geostationary orbits," the president said. "We need to expand far space research and missions, both robotized and manned."
To that end, Russia needs a next-generation manned spacecraft and a super-heavy carrier rocket. According to Putin, Russian space engineers, designers and companies are capable of fulfilling these tasks and have all the required instruments.
"The continuity of generations is our competitive advantage," he continued. "At the same time, it is evident that in order to achieve remarkable results, we will need to bring the quality and efficiency of the space industry to the whole new level, to get rid of everything that is holding us back, and to consolidate our scientific, intellectual and industrial reserves."
April 12 is marked as the Cosmonautics Day in Russia and some of its neighbors, and as the International Day of Human Space Flight worldwide. On that day in 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin for the first time ever circled the Earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft in 1961.