Russia to Slash Space Budget By 30%

30% Reductions Loom Credit: Roscosmos

30% Reductions Loom Credit: Roscosmos

From playing a vital role in building, staffing, and operating the International Space Station over the last 15 years, to launching the ExoMars probe this week, there is no doubt the Russian space program is a vital, and even indispensable component of the global space exploration infrastructure.

According to a report in Reuters with quotes from TASS, that program is about to take a serious budgetary shave:

“Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev agreed to slash funding for Russia’s space program by 30 percent on Thursday, an effort to reign in state spending in the face of a deepening economic crisis.

Approving a plan submitted by Russian space agency Roscosmos in January, Medvedev ordered Russia’s space program budget for 2016-2025 to be cut from 2 trillion rubles ($29.24 billion) to 1.4 trillion rubles.

“It is a large program, but we need such big programs, even in circumstances when all is not well with the economy.”

Among the casualties are a significant delay in Russia’s plans to launch a manned lunar program, as well as efforts to develop a reusable launch vehicle to counter developments by American companies SpaceX and Blue Origin. Also threatened is the launch date for the second half of the ExoMars mission which saw the initial orbiter and lander lofted to the Red Planet by a Proton booster earlier this week.  A launch during the 2018 window is already in doubt due to the compressed schedule for developing the mission’s lander, which is being handled by Roscosmos.

Another area of possible concern, and one which could directly impact NASA is ongoing support for ISS, and in particular for a commitment to operate the Station through at least 2024. For the moment however, it appears that the brunt of the cuts will fall on new rather than already existing programs.


Posted in: Russian Space

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1 Comment on "Russia to Slash Space Budget By 30%"

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  1. PK Sink says:

    NASA, and the government in general, are sure heading down a similar road. I’m very grateful that Bolden has been such a champion of the commercial space efforts. With NASA’s help, American drive and ingenuity are riding to the rescue.

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