Russia’s 10-Year Space Plan
The Cabinet on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a 10-year space exploration program that prioritizes satellite telecommunications and navigation.
The federal space program, which provides for 305 billion rubles ($10.7 billion) to be spent on civil space-exploration projects from 2006 through 2015, was approved by the Cabinet on Thursday.
Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov asked Anatoly Perminov, director of the Federal Space Agency, to draft an additional report on a strategy for developing Russia's space industry.
Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said that Perminov should also draft a plan for restructuring the space industry, Interfax reported.
The 10-year civil exploration program stresses the development of the Angara family of rockets and new modifications of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle.
Other objectives include the development and deployment of telecommunications and other satellites as well as the Glonass navigation system, according to the Federal Space Agency, which drafted the program.
Russia had gone for months without a single functioning weather satellite, and some of the country's television broadcasting satellites had outlived their intended period of service.
The development of new passenger spacecraft, such as the six-seat Klipper, to replace the current three-seat Soyuz-TMA is another priority.
The program also calls for further development of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which Russia leases from Kazakhstan, and Russia's own Plesetsk Cosmodrome, the agency said.
If fully funded, the 10-year program should enable Russia to meet its international space station obligations, Perminov said.
Besides cooperating with the United States' NASA on the space station, the Federal Space Agency is also preparing proposals for the U.S. space agency to resume manned flights to the moon, Perminov told reporters.
As part of the 10-year program, the Federal Space Agency also plans its own interplanetary mission, which would send the Fobos-Grunt probe to one of Mars' satellites to collect samples, Perminov said.