Russia to Pump $52B Into Space Industry
And may create new space ministry
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Apr 12, 2013 1:57 PM CDT
A Russian Proton booster rocket blasts off from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 26, 2013.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Russia is getting (even more) serious about space exploration. Vladimir Putin today announced a plan to pump roughly $52 billion into the country's space industry, and floated the idea of creating a special "space ministry," Russia Today reports. "Russia should preserve its status of the leading space power," Putin said in remarks to mark Russia's Cosmonautics Day. "Therefore, the development of our space capabilities is set to be the top priority of state policy."

Russia already has a space agency, but Putin says he'd like to consider expanding it to cover all the country's space industry—since most of the companies are state-owned anyway. The push will aim partially to make up for Russia's deficit in the satellite department. Russia has always thrown money at manned spaceflight, and now that the US generally hitches rides on its spacecraft, it appears to be the global leader there. But its satellite industry lags other developed countries'.

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Apr 13, 2013 12:03 AM CDT
I wonder how far $52 billion goes in Russia? I looked for info on our space shuttle program and came up with these numbers: The data shows that over the entire lifetime of the the space shuttle program the cost has been $145 billion, and about $112 billion since the program became operational. Furthermore, the average cost per flight has been about $1.3 billion over the life of the program and about $750 million over its most recent five years of operations.
Apr 12, 2013 5:43 PM CDT
Moose & Squirrel on Mars.
Apr 12, 2013 4:02 PM CDT
Maybe we can reach into space as a global team. The Russians have always built these incredibly muscular boosters, but aren't so good at miniaturization and computer control. We finally got a booster that'd take a mission to the moon, and we are REALLY good at technical achievements, having build robot cars that can be driven and used across tens of millions of miles and last exponentially longer than their life expectancies. If we cooperated and worked with our ability together with theirs, we might be able to accomplish a WHOLE lot more than we can if we continue to strive separately.