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Putin Calls for Space Launch Development Strategy

RIA Novosti

17:01 12/04/2012

MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday a national strategy was needed for the development of the country’s space launch centers.

“I believe we need to develop a long-term national development strategy,” he told a conference on the future of Russian space centers, speaking on Russian Cosmonautics Day.

He said about 150 billion rubles (about $5 billion) will be earmarked for space programs from the federal budget.

That includes over 40.5 billion rubles for the development of cosmodromes, he added.

“Most of the funds - about 30 billion rubles - will go to Vostochny,” he said, referring to the space center under construction in the country’s Far East.

Only the existence of several launch centers will guarantee Russia “complete independence in space,” he said.

Russia currently uses two launch sites - Baikonur in Kazakhstan, which it has leased since the fall of the Soviet Union, and Plesetsk in northwestern Russia.

The construction of Vostochny, which began last year, is due to be completed in 2016.

The vast facility in the Amur Region will eventually include two launch pads, a training center and oxygen and hydrogen generation plants.

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