Space industry in Russia to receive $69 billion until 2020
The space agency and industry in Russia will receive a strong increase in budget over the coming 8 years, according to Russia's national news agency RIA Novosti.
In the last week of December, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev greenlighted a budget of $68.71 billion on funding Russia's space industry from 2013 to 2020.
"The program will enable our country to effectively participate in forward-looking projects, such as the International Space Station, the study of the moon, Mars and other celestial bodies in the solar system," Medvedev told RIA.
Russia's space program was hobbled by several failed missions and problems in recent years. An important factor causing the problems was most probably underfunding, since Russia only spent $3.3 billion for space programs annually in 2010 and 2011, which is less than the yearly average, said Medvedev.
The space agency's workhorse Soyuz rocket has been a successful endeavour by Russia, fortunately, since it is used to transport humans to space, mostly to the ISS in recent years.
But Russia has failed several times in recent years trying to put satellites and probes into orbit. In August 2012, a Proton rocket launch failure caused the loss of an Indonesian and a Russian satellite. A similar problem caused the loss of a $265 million communications satellite in 2011.
NASA, with an annual budget between $17 billion to $18, but without any American capability to carry astronauts to space, currently relies on Russia to ferry its astronauts back and forth to the International Space Station since it retired the space shuttle program, paying Russia an extra $60 million per astronaut.