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Medvedev calls for Russian space exploration program

RIA Novosti

21:04 08/02/2011

MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday Russia should develop its own space exploration program.

"I believe this is a very important topic, even in terms of our scientific ambitions," Medvedev said. "If we do not do this, we will fall behind."

Russia is not in a position to carry out global space programs single-handedly and should team up with India and Kazakhstan, rocket scientist Boris Chertok said in January.

He said Russian space programs are grossly underfunded compared to similar projects in the United States and China.

Russian researchers are working on an unmanned spacecraft similar to the U.S. Boeing X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle, Space Troops chief Oleg Ostapenko said last month.

Russia's Khrunichev research center plans to develop a new super-heavy carrier rocket that will be used to launch piloted spacecraft to Mars.

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