Russia Update: Spending Holds Steady, New Rocket to Debut

A couple of updates on the Russian space program, courtesy of RIA Novosti:

There will be no cuts in spending for the Russian space industry in 2009, and almost 82 billion rubles ($2.4 billion) will be allocated to three federal programs, the Russian prime minister said Wednesday.

“In the adjusted 2009 draft budget there are no reductions in allotments for the development of the rocket and space industry,” Vladimir Putin said at a conference.

Putin recalled that in the past two years rocket and space industry enterprises have received and spent over 21 billion rubles ($609 million), stressing that half of those funds had been channeled into technical upgrading of production facilities.

Meanwhile, Khrunichev State Space Science and Production Center reports good progress on its new Angara heavy-lift rocket:

Russia’s new Angara carrier rocket will start test flights in 2011, the rocket’s developer said on Wednesday.

“The work is going according to schedule. A light-class Angara will be launched in early 2011 and a heavy class rocket will be launched at the end of that year,” Khrunichev’s first deputy head Vasily Sychyov said.

Read the full budget story and the Angara update.