Russia's Putin Announces $50 Billion In New Space Spending | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Russia's Putin Announces $50 Billion In New Space Spending

Moscow will spend $52 billion on its space program through 2020, including money for completion of a new launch facility on Russian soil.

The announcement came from President Vladimir Putin as he spoke to orbiting astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Cosmonaut's Day, the 52nd anniversary of the first manned space flight by Russian spacefarer Yuri Gagarin.

The total investment breaks down to about $7 billion a year, less than half of what NASA's budget has been in recent years.

Speaking via video link from the partially completed Vostochny (Eastern) cosmodrome in Russia's far east, Putin told the ISS crew that Moscow hoped to make the first launches from the facility by 2015. Currently, all of Russia's manned flights are launched from the Baikanour cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

"It's going to be a great launchpad," he said. "It took a long time to choose, but now work is fully underway."

Putin said with the new cosmodrome, returning cosmonauts would most end gut-rattling hard landings in Kazakhstan and instead adopt the practice of ocean landings pioneered by the U.S. during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions of the 1960s and '70s.

"Most probably, according to specialists, they will come down on the ocean. So our cosmonauts will splash down rather than touch down," Putin said.

Putin said Russia would spend 1.6 trillion rubles ($51.8 billion) on its space program from 2013-2020, what he called a growth far greater than any other space power. He complained that Russia had fallen behind on unmanned space activities because it had focused on manned flight "to the detriment" of everything else.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Charles Blow's Memoir Reveals Incidents Of Sexual Abuse And Violence

In a new memoir, New York Times Op-Ed columnist Charles Blow opens up about abuse he has suffered, and inflicted in his life. He tells Michel Martin why he told his story in Fire Shut Up in My Bones.
NPR

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

Researchers have found a gene that affects how strongly you experience bitter flavors. And those who aren't as sensitive eat about 200 more servings of vegetables per year.
NPR

Top Spending PAC Aims To Keep The Senate In Democratic Hands

Senate Majority PAC, run by allies of Senate Majority Leader Reid, is the top-spending superPAC in the midterm election season. Its donors are essentially a compilation of the party's big-donor base.
NPR

Tech Firms Chip Away At Credit Cards' Share Of Transactions

Companies including PayPal and Apple are competing to convince merchants and consumers to use their swipe-and-go mobile payment systems. Credit card breaches may speed up the use of digital wallets.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.