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Russian space industry should be more commercially driven, taking page from US — Medvedev

The politician believes that "space has become commercial" and space launches must be "converted into a standardized product"

MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. State funding for the space industry must be provided in a sensible, but sufficient amount, and the space industry must be more commercially driven, similar to the US practice, says Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev.

"Of course, it would be nice to have more money; the Soviet Union often spent money on space for the sake of prestige, and we have achieved amazing results. But we cannot afford that now; therefore, money must be provided, but in a sensible yet sufficient manner," Medvedev said in an interview for the Russian press and social media users.

Meanwhile, he stated that "space has become commercial."

"There’s nothing that can be done about it. It is necessary to put it on a commercial track. One can no longer consider it solely an object of public investment," the senior official said, citing successful privately funded space launches in the US.

"We must take a page from them," Medvedev stated.

In his opinion, space launches must be "converted into a standardized product."

He noted the importance of space technologies and the need for their development.

"Space has given us not only victories, accolades for the [Communist] Party and government leadership, pride in [cosmonauts] Gagarin, Titov, and Tereshkova, [and] for the first-ever satellite, but a whole range of new technologies as well. It is pointless to believe that this has changed now," Medvedev believes.

He noted that many space designs, such as carrier rockets, are dual usage items.

"When we develop this area, we are also working on our strategic nuclear forces, and vice versa," the official explained. "It is another matter entirely that, if, previously, technology transfer was a simple matter - from the military space industry to the civilian sector and, from there, to everyday civilian life - these days everything is much more complex. It is a feature of the modern era that many civilian designs find their way into the military sector, not only in Russia, but in all other countries, because a lot of products emerge as purely civilian ones, but unexpectedly find a use in the defense industry," Medvedev noted.

He also underscored that "the civilian space industry requires a lot of money," so it is better to work on its development together with other countries.