With the retirement of the US space shuttle fleet the only way American astronauts can get to the ISS is tucked inside Russian Soyuz spacecraft. It seems Russia wants a larger part of the space industry and has announced that it plans to double the output of its space industry by 2020. The plan comes as part of a new state program announced over the weekend.
Russia believes that the increase in output for the space industry would give it a 16% share in the space technology market by 2020. Russia currently has 10.7% of the space technology market according to officials. Part of Russia’s plan is to create a new Angara launch vehicle. Russia also wants to continue development of the Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East.
The plan will also see Russia making improvements to its Glonass satellite navigation system. Glonass is the Russian equivalent of GPS satellites used in the US and other countries. The top priority for Russia under the new plan is space industry development with a secondary goal of scientific research. Russia’s third goal with the new program is manned spaceflight.
However, manned spaceflight could move up the hierarchy after 2020 when the International Space Station is expected to end its mission. The new space program will cost Russia $69 billion including private investments, which are virtually nonexistent in Russia’s space program at this time. The Russian government approved the new plan in late December and the plan has only now been published. Reports also indicate that Russia’s plan has a classified section, which was not made public.