The Russian government plans to consolidate its space sector in an open joint stock company called the United Rocket and Space Corporation in a way that would preserve and enhance the Roscosmos space agency, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.
In a recent Q&A with Kommersant, Russia’s space czar said President Vladimir Putin had approved the plan, which had been put forward by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, at a meeting on June 11. Rogozin said the failure prone space sector is so troubled that it needs state supervision to overcome its problems.
Russia uses the open joint stock company structure in a number of key sectors, including airlines (Aeroflot), railroads (Russian Railways), and energy (Gazprom). These companies are somewhat similar to limited liability partnerships and corporations in the United States.
Rogozin said he is awaiting a detailed proposal from Roscosmos on how to accomplish the transition. He added that the company would obtain a controlling interest in the Energia company. Currently, the government owns 38 percent of the rocket company.
Russia employs about 250,000 people in its space sector, while the United States has about 70,000 people working in the field, Rogozin said. Russian productivity is eight times lower than in America, with companies duplicating each others’ work and operating at about 40 percent efficiency.
Rogozin seemed to throw cold water on earlier reports that quoted him as saying the government planned to consolidate both space and aviation under one structure. The Google Translate version is a little unclear, but it appears that government wants to two sectors to work more closely together on joint projects where each side has expertise. He mentioned an air-launched rocket project and hypersonic missiles and aircraft as examples.
Editor’s Note: A big shout out to Nickolai Belakovski for his help in clearing up uncertainties in the Google Translate text. Appreciate it.