President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
Today we will examine our long-term policy in the field of space exploration. The most important thing here is to establish our priorities and set concrete goals. We must not forget that space exploration means a defence shield for our country, modern standards of communications, navigation, the ability to get advance warning of global cataclysms, and a platform for obtaining new materials and cutting-edge scientific results.
Furthermore, an effective space programme can serve as an important element in promoting innovative economic development and creating entire new areas of scientific research that meet the demands of global development.
Today, a growing number of countries see outer space as a zone of their geopolitical and economic interests, and they spare neither money nor effort to consolidate their positions and ability to compete in this area.
Over these last years, thanks to the new financial opportunities that have opened up, we have succeeded in stabilizing to a considerable extent the situation in the space sector. Overall, the sector has maintained its production potential and has a good base of scientific work for the future. We have launched a process of restructuring and creation of integrated and competitive organizations in the sector. Russia is an equal partner in international space cooperation and has established a substantial foothold on the market for space products and services.
Today, we have the chance to really move beyond using and maintaining the space exploration capital that was built up during the Soviet era and start carrying out new and truly ambitious space sector projects.
Above all, we must ensure that Russia has guaranteed access to outer space, that is, we must have the ability to carry out all kinds of space launches from our own territory – from automated satellites to manned spacecraft and interplanetary stations. In this context, I ask you to pay particularly close attention to the development of space launch centres in Russia, and that includes stepping up work on establishing the new Russian space launch centre, Vostochny [in Amur Region, Russian Far East]. We discussed this matter just yesterday at a meeting with the Government ministers responsible for economic issues, and we decided that we should begin this work straight away. The funds needed for the design of this major installation will be allocated this year.
Second, we need a clear blueprint for building up the number and possibilities of Russia’s orbiting groups. This blueprint should be drafted for the period through to 2020 at the minimum. I am referring to all different types of apparatus here: military and dual-use, socio-economic and scientific. These should all be state-of-the-art or thoroughly modernised apparatus, the kind that will be able to compete with foreign equivalents in terms of effectiveness, and, most importantly, reliability and durability.
We need to pay particular attention also to the project to develop the new Angara rocket complex and to the full deployment of the GLONASS Global Navigation Satellite System and the extensive use of the corresponding ground-based navigation equipment among users.
This system is already up and running now, but we still need to put in more effort to make it truly global and competitive in all aspects.
Third, we need to substantially increase our presence on the world market for space apparatus and services. We need to be able to offer the market not just our launch vehicles for putting foreign apparatus and payloads into orbit, but also to offer an increasing number of high-technology space-related developments and services. This covers space sector equipment itself, communications services, navigation, meteorological monitoring and remote Earth probes. We need to greatly increase Russia’s market share in this promising and profitable sector.
Fourth, in order to carry out the above-named tasks, we need to make an intensive effort to rebuild the sector’s human resource potential and carry out thorough technological modernisation. If we do not do this, even generous funding for the sector will not bring the results we need and expect.
Fifth, we need to make effective use of the scientific and resource potential of related scientific programmes. We are currently investing heavily in nanotechnology, and the results obtained, according to the experts, will soon find extensive applications in the space sector.
Finally, we need to take a serious look at how we can make use of not just the state’s new possibilities but also the growing possibilities of Russian business in the space sector.
In many of the countries with a presence in space, space sector developments and projects have become profitable ventures for private investment. Venture funds, incubation firms and large companies are all actively developing this field of work. I mentioned just before telecommunications services and remote Earth probes, and these are things that can be used to help search for the resources the world economy is in such need of today, that can be used to provide other services. This is profitable technology today.
I think that Russian business has already developed sufficiently to become a reliable partner and serious participant in Russia’s space exploration programmes. Incidentally, many of our companies are already expressing interest in this sector and are already becoming involved in this joint work.
I would like to conclude by congratulating everyone working in the space sector – workers, engineers, designers and cosmonauts – on the Cosmonautics Day holiday, and to wish them all new achievements in consolidating Russia’s status as one of the leaders in outer space.
I wish you a happy holiday!