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Moscow (RIA Novosti) Apr 14, 2008
Russia should not only be involved in orbiting foreign-made satellites and payloads but promote its hi-tech developments and services, President Vladimir Putin said Friday. "We need to significantly expand our presence on the global market for space products and services," he said. He said an effective space program could become a significant factor in innovative economic development, calling for new ambitious space projects to be implemented.
Putin said it was necessary to begin financing the Vostochny space center in Russia's Far East this year and urged its construction to be speeded up.
Last November President Putin signed a decree to construct a new space center, named Vostochny, in the Amur Region.
"We must begin [the construction] now. Finances for its construction must be allocated this year," he said.
Russia currently uses two launch sites for space carrier rockets and ballistic missiles tests: the Baikonur space center in the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan, which it has leased since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia.
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who oversees Russia's military-industrial complex, said last year that construction could take about 10 years.
Russia plans to launch its first spacecraft from Vostochny in 2015, and by 2018 to commence manned space flights from the new site.
Putin has also instructed the government to prepare proposals to upgrade the country's rocket and space sector, the director of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said.
"The president has given [the government] 10 days to submit proposals on modernizing the rocket and space industry as a whole," Anatoly Perminov said.
Source: RIA Novosti
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