Watch out NASA, Russia is making a big effort to catch up with you in the fight for space travel supremacy. Russian president Vladimir Putin has announced the country’s plan for a new space program that will cost around $50 billion over the course of seven years. The announcement comes on the anniversary of when the country (formerly the Soviet Union) put the first man in space.
The plan includes multiple improvements to the Roscosmos space program, including building a completely new cosmodrome, which is actually already under construction as we speak. Putin believes that this drive will help Russia’s economy and will improve the country’s position as a space travel competitor.
Other than constructing a new cosmodrome, Russia plans to update its outdated space equipment, including the rockets and capsules, as well as put more focus on unmanned space exploration. Currently, Russia only launches the Soyuz capsule to take astronauts and cosmonauts up to the International Space Station.
Russia still launches all of its manned missions from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, which is the same place where Gagarin made his historic space flight over 50 years ago, so a new cosmodrome certainly isn’t too much to ask for. When it’s all said and done, Russia will have spent more money on its new space program than any other program in the world.