Putin Visits Energia, Emphasizes Cooperation, Competitiveness and New Spaceport

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin tours RSC Energia. (Credit: Russian Federation Government)


Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who chaired a meeting at the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, spoke about state support for the development of the rocket and space industry. He said that allocations from the federal budget amounted to more than 18 billion roubles in 2009. He added that in 2010 the industry would receive 67 billion roubles for the implementation of the Federal Space Programme and 27.9 billion roubles for the Glonass global navigation system.

He also said that the government would support space projects such as the construction of a large-scale Vostochny space centre, for which the government will allocate 24.7 billion roubles in the next three years.

Vladimir Putin said in his speech that Russia would continue to develop international space cooperation. The next Russian-American crew will depart for the International Space Station in September 2010.

“The deployment of the Russian section of the International Space Station should be completed by 2015. The programme includes the introduction of a multipurpose laboratory, a node and two energy modules,” Putin said when speaking about Russia’s contribution to the ISS project.

The prime minister emphasised that Russia had always been a trailblazer in space exploration and he expressed hope that the country would remain a leader in that sphere.

“Our goal is to reliably protect national interests in space and to strengthen Russia’s position in the global market of space services,” he said. “In short, we must become really competitive.”

The prime minister toured the Energia testing facilities, where the Soyuz and Progress spacecraft are undergoing final testing before they will be incorporated into the International Space Station (ISS). Mr Putin was also shown a Zarya service module identical to the one currently installed in the ISS, as well as the latest generation of rocket carriers that will put GLONASS navigation satellites and military satellites into orbit.

In addition, the prime minister visited the space exploration museum, which features the most recent Energia technology, future Energia projects and exhibits on the history of Russian and Soviet rocketry. The museum’s historical collection includes examples of the first three-stage intercontinental missiles, various ballistic missiles and a scale model of an ICBM launch facility developed by the Soviet Union and the United States.

A significant portion of the prime minister’s guided tour of the museum was devoted to the Energia-manufactured spacecraft docking systems. Energia has sold the necessary technology to manufacture these docking systems to its American, European and Chinese partners. Energia executives also gave a presentation on the corporation’s new manned spacecraft system, which will replace the Soyuz spacecraft, as well as a test programme for a future Russian manned spacecraft.