Russia's space industry: plagued by funding again
MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator
In the next two years Russia intends to put
on the statute book the integration of the defense sector, and especially its
space industry, as a priority area of national security.
"Roskosmos (Russian Space Agency) is
currently forming 11 large integrated structures in the space and missile
industry," its head Anatoly Perminov told a round table discussion at the
Federation Council, which discussed the legal status of the space branch as part
of Russia's national security effort. "Our industry," said Perminov,
"is able to fulfill the federal space program up to 2015, but everything
will depend on the funding."
Only adequate financing, or rather
concentration of money in well-developed space centers, can help implement the
ten-year space program to restore and replenish in a timely manner Russia's
orbital formation and carry out manned near-Earth missions and deep space
studies. "And although many said that the federal space program is not
ambitious enough, it nevertheless can restructure the industry, increase the
number of satellites in space, and regain the potential we have had in the
recent past," Permonov noted, summing up the tasks and general condition of
Our past was indeed remarkable. With an
average annual number of about 100 space launches, Russia could afford to have
the largest renewable orbital formation. Today, however, according to Roskosmos,
"... Russia has only 96 spacecraft in space, 62 of them well past their
service life." Things are no better with military craft. According to the
Roskosmos head, 33 out of 40 spacecraft have outlasted their usefulness.
Considering that "the United States'
funding is 30 times higher and China's 2.5 times higher than ours," it
means we can produce top-quality space equipment and orbit spacecraft without
hitches and mishaps only through maximum integration of the space industry. But
that calls for a dependable legal background.
Today, Russia's space effort is dogged by
more than 400 statutory edicts and norms. Many of them are obsolete, duplicate
each other and disagree with the newly issued laws on space activities.
This disarray fails to cure a long-rooted
illness - the perilous state of production facilities. "Manufacture of
challenging systems is in doubt because of outdated production equipment,"
said the Roskosmos chief.