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President Putin Lays Out Objectives for the Russian Space Program

April 18, 2018 (EIRNS)—In a meeting with his Security Council on April 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a candid assessment of where improvements had to be made in the space enterprise, set specific goals, and stressed the importance of Russia’s leadership in space.

Putin reiterated a primary task, which he has focused on since coming into office, which is the reorganization and modernization of the space industry, which was almost destroyed during the preceding IMF decade, when the post-Soviet countries and Eastern Europe were viciously looted under “free market” dictate. During the 1990s, many top scientists and managers left Russia, and resources did not exist to replace them. What is needed, Putin said, is

“the recruitment of skilled specialists.... Over a period of the past few years, we have implemented a number of measures to attract young professionals into companies, R&D centers and design bureaus.... It is necessary to continue attracting and retaining talented industry specialists who can implement even the boldest projects.”

Lyndon LaRouche pointed out the fact that Russia, and the Soviet Union before it, was largely unable to apply new technology developed through the space program in the economy, which slowed down the increase in productivity that the U.S. experienced through the Apollo program. Putin said,

“We have to learn to efficiently implement the results of space activities in every sphere of life, including in primary industries, such as telecommunications, communications, transport, medicine, housing, and public utilities.”

To do this, Putin reported, Russia must upgrade its on-orbit capabilities. “The national system of satellite communications, optical and radiolocation imaging of the Earth, and the collection of meteorological data are inferior to our competitors,” he stated, which also bears on the question of the export of Russian services, including rocket launches, and hardware, such as satellites. “Increasing export is a task of fundamental importance,” he said. When U.S. companies start taking crews to the ISS, Russia will lose the $85 million per seat it has recently been charging NASA. Developing an export market, to continue to bring in funds that support the Russian space industry, is a critical necessity.

President Putin has set ambitious goals, including doubling of productive capacity in the rocket and space industry in 2020, as compared with 2011. And upgrading all of Russian aerospace so it can compete with the other established, and the emerging, space powers.

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