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3 Nov, 2020 14:01

Russia to cut space funding? Putin asks Roscosmos for detailed spending proposals as Kremlin works out post-Covid budget

Russia to cut space funding? Putin asks Roscosmos for detailed spending proposals as Kremlin works out post-Covid budget

Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded that state space agency Roscosmos provide more details about the financing of future projects, as the government looks to rework its budget following the hit from Covid-19.

Over the summer, Roscosmos planned and promised a number of brand-new space programs, due to be approved in the future. However, according to the president, the space agency still hasn’t presented information to the government about the financing of projects coming up soon. In particular, Putin is waiting on information about a super-heavy launch vehicle, and improvements to the GLONASS Global Navigation Satellite System.

“As I see from the information provided, these programs have not yet been approved,” Putin said, asking for an explanation for the delay. “This needs to be done in the very near future, including quickly determining the necessary budget allocation for these programs.”

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Like most countries, Russia’s economy has been damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the budget has been shifted towards relief and financial help for those in need. According to the president, in the context of the enormous spending on combating the consequences of coronavirus, it is vital to correctly prioritize and objectively assess the value of investing in the space industry.

In response, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter that the plans were submitted “in August this year,” expressing his hope that Putin would approve the funding.

The president also asked Roscosmos to use partnerships with private companies to attract extra-budgetary and borrowed funds.

In recent months, Rogozin has spoken about a wide range of future space projects, including sending a mission to Venus, building a new human-crewed space shuttle, and developing reusable booster rockets.

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