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Government Space The Almighty Buck

Russian Space Industry To Receive $69 Billion Through 2020 64

An anonymous reader sends word that the Russian Space industry will be getting a big boost over the next eight years. Prime Minister Medvedev has approved $68.71 billion in space-related funding from 2013 to 2020. That's a huge increase from the $3.3 billion spent annually in 2010 and 2011. The increased funding is one of several efforts to restoring Russia's slowly fading spaceflight capabilities. "The failure of a workhorse Proton rocket after launch in August caused the multimillion-dollar loss of an Indonesian and a Russian satellite. A similar problem caused the loss of a $265 million communications satellite last year. Medvedev criticized the state of the industry in August, saying problems were costing Russia prestige and money." Medvedev said, "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."
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Russian Space Industry To Receive $69 Billion Through 2020

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  • by uvajed_ekil ( 914487 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @04:43PM (#42444457)

    Russian Space Industry To Receive $69 Billion Through 2020

    That's what she said.

    • The Reuters article referred to 2.1 trillion rubles:

      "Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved a plan to spend 2.1 trillion roubles ($68.71 billion) on developing Russia's space industry from 2013 to 2020, state-run RIA news agency reported."

      A lot of money in any case.

      • The Reuters article referred to 2.1 trillion rubles

        Same thing, right? As long as a common, changeable currency is mentioned, there is nothing wrong with translating it into a form people understand, no? I for one would have had no clue what to make of a figure stated in rubles, while US Dollars make sense to most North Americans, Europeans, and others without them having to look up currency conversion factors.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The summary mentioned no currency so it could have been LEGOs, which I understand is better than gold.

          • by cnettel ( 836611 )
            A dollar sign in international text is frequently assumed to be USD. It's certainly not "[mentioning] no currency".
          • The summary mentioned no currency...

            It said "$69 Billion" in English, using what could be taken as an American dialect, on a US-based site, so that is pretty clearly indicative of United States dollars. Sorry if there was no fine print or legalese to explicitly explain details, but it looked rather obvious anyway.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            What's aggravating about the summary is the comparison of 1 years budget to 7 years of budget. It is still a 3x increase in budget, from 3.3 billion to roughly 9.9 billion.
        • Same thing, right?

          Yes, but it kills the innuendo value in the figure.

          At least, that's what I pulled out of the comment.

      • by tokul ( 682258 )

        A lot of money in any case.

        Lets put it in perspective. 10 billion a year. Lots of money to burn on rockets.

        Or 1/10 of Russia's military budget for the same time period. two times less than promised increase in military expenditures. less than 3% of federal budget for 2011.

        Given than budget is funded by exports of natural resources, I would say that they expect slight increase in oil/gas prices and bigger profit margins.

        Space travel is fascinating, but it causes less worries for politics than health care

  • echos of the 90s (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @05:07PM (#42444699)

    In the 1990s the rich west used to blow money over to the Russians to give them something to do, so they didn't have to work for middle easterners. Proliferation and all that.

    In the 2010's, the rich Russians will be blowing money our way, to make sure our unemployed NASA guys won't have to work for middle easterners. Same deal, cut back on proliferation.

  • by arcite ( 661011 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @05:18PM (#42444781)
    Too bad $60 billion of that will be siphoned off to slush funds and other nefarious activities.
    • You're getting confused with NASA.

      Russia actually builds stuff that goes to space.

      NASA is guilty of feeding an enormous bureaucracy full of academic studies, failed projects and priority backflips.

      Q: What do you think $69 billion would get you in NASA?
      A: Budget complaints, and not much else.
      • by RCL ( 891376 )
        And Russia is full of corruption, so GP's comment is spot on.

        DISCLAIMER: I am a Russian citizen.
  • At first, instead of "billion," I read "bitcoin."

    I was surprised, to say the least.

  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @06:23PM (#42445281)

    That's a lot of money for space research. . Do they know something we don't?

    • maybe they found nazis on the dark side of the moon?

      ...or americans
    • Re:knowledge (Score:4, Interesting)

      by fragMasterFlash ( 989911 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @06:44PM (#42445481)
      They know that the privately funded space industry is growing and could potentially surpass state run space agencies one day unless they continue to innovate. I am guessing the Soviet space program would rather license technologies they develop to private industry rather than simply fade away into the history books.
      • Agreed, except that the Soviets have been history for over two decades now.

        Even the current $3 billion budget would be more than enough for a private space company to develop a new launch system, provided the amount is focused on the right projects. I suspect a good part of the amount is taken up by the bureaucracy and deep space missions that fail.

        While interplanetary research is good, I'd prefer a focus on near-Earth missions geared toward the exploitation of space or at least the development of a more se

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Even the current $3 billion budget would be more than enough for a private space company to develop a new launch system, provided the amount is focused on the right projects.

          $3 billion is more than enough for anyone to develop a new launch system, provided the amount is focused on the right projects. The hard part isn't private vs public, the hard part is finding the right focus.

          • It's not just launch systems though, and it's not just development, but procurement. Russia is also intent on developing GLONASS, as well as satcoms and visual/radar imaging, as well as funding space exploration such as to the Moon (Luna), Mars and the moons of Jupiter. All that needs funding of launch system development and much more. There's alot of depth to Russian expertise, they have competing entities developing different approaches. Re-usable launchers, or semi-re-usable, with folding wings on the
    • by Hentes ( 2461350 )

      They know that if they manage to create a good rocket, there will be a huge return on their investment. There's lots of money in LEO, especially when competition is limited.

    • That's a lot of money for space research. . Do they know something we don't?

      Well, if they don't now, they will in a few years time.

    • by Khopesh ( 112447 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @08:28PM (#42446299) Homepage Journal

      That's a lot of money for space research. . Do they know something we don't?

      What are you talking about? No it is not!

      They use some of that money for manned space missions rather than for research. Still, their previous $3 billion annual budget could afford to send men to space while NASA's $18 billion [] annual budget apparently cannot. Now Russia announces a spending increase up to USD$68.71 billion over eight years (USD$8.59b a year), roughly half of what NASA's sliced up budget is currently.

      Neil deGrasse Tyson's video pleas We Stopped Dreaming [] and its follow-up A New Perspective [] proposed we increase NASA spending to 1% of the US Federal Budget (current spending: 0.49% []) suggests we could go to Mars and innovate the way we did in the 70s. That's significantly more than Russia's new investment and would help us keep our lead. Otherwise, we're losing both innovation and innovators.

      I'd like NASA to be funded by the largest of:
      * 1% of the US Federal Budget ($3.8t [] -> $38b in 2011)
      * Half of the US DOD's Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation budget ($79b [] -> $39b in 2010)
      * 5% of the whole US Military budget ($550b [] -> $27b in 2011, $708b [] -> $35b in 2012)

      This extra funding would come from otherwise allotted military spending (so an increase to the military budget would typically increase NASA's budget as well). As I noted a few paragraphs earlier, this would roughly double the current $18b budget and would bring us to Mars.

  • by RCL ( 891376 ) <rcl,rs,vvg&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:00PM (#42445587) Homepage
    Throwing more money at it won't help if they don't increase the discipline. I bet those rocket losses were caused by bad/missing QA in supply chain and overall negligence, which seems to be omnipresent in Russian society at large. I'm not that old, but I remember Soviet times when the discipline was much higher. Nowadays, my compatriots borrowed Western relaxed way of life but unfortunately haven't borrowed Western attitude to work and Western responsibility for its quality.
  • The number of orders at Lamborghini and Ferrari has just doubled for the next few years. Keep in mind that at least half (if not two thirds) of this money will inevitably be stolen. That's just how "business" is done over there. IRS would have a field day discovering the discrepancies between what folks officially make, and what they actually spend.

  • ...the U.S. military budget is projected to be nearly 870 billion in 2013.

  • They already charge US astronauts 3x ($60M) per launch seat compared to ($20M) for space tourists like Sarah Brightman. The US screwed by terminating its viable shuttle program without a replacement for at least 8 years.
  • that prevents for instance SpaceX to deal with anyone but the U.S. government or is this all still 1960s just like the rest of the world ?

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson