Sunday, March 22, 2009

Russian Defense Cuts Could Affect Space

A reduction in defense spending being considered under a revised federal budget plan threatens key Russian launcher and satellite navigation projects, even though space budgets are not expected to be impacted by the new plan.

President Vladimir Putin has assured government and industry space officials that the revised 2009 draft budget, intended to take into account the worsening economic downturn, contemplates no reduction in allotments for the development of new space projects. Almost 82 billion rubles ($2.4 billion) is to be allocated for three programs, Putin said, without saying which ones. However, he said the new Angara launcher would be among the priority programs, along with communication, navigation and remote Earth sensing spacecraft development.