It’s becoming clear that Russia’s space industry is changing after President Vladimir Putin decided to dissolve Roscosmos, the Federal Space Agency on December 28.
- The Russian Federal Space Agency becomes Roscosmos State Corporation
- Many problems and malfunctions have been encountered in Russian spacecrafts
- Roscosmos will have to compete with companies like SpaceX
The decree was signed Monday by the Russian president and will go into force on the first day of the New Year. The former space agency will be replaced by Roscosmos State Corporation which was already established earlier in 2015.
Although the change doesn’t look like much it might somewhat revolutionize the space industry in the Russian Federation. They started reorganizing the space sector over two years ago when the URSC was created to renationalize the space field.
The Federal Space Agency is not necessarily dissolving, but merging with URSC to create the new state corporation Roscosmos. The new organization will obviously take over all of the former space agency’s ongoing projects and will operate at national level having control over the entire space industry.
The decision was taken after Russia’s space industry experienced some trouble such as delays, failed missions, bureaucracy and corruption. The chance was made in response to all of these problems and with the hopes that the country’s new space corporation will be successful in dealing with such problems.
Some of the issues encountered by the late agency couldn’t help but become public. For example, a satellite designed to observe our planet failed to separate from the launch rocket which led to the loss of the spacecraft.
A Proton-M booster meant to deliver a Mexican satellite into orbit exploded after liftoff. Moreover, this was already the fourth malfunction suffered by a Proton-M rocket. Although the new corporation is meant to make repairs and prevent such things from happening, there are also some downsides to it.
One of them is that the program for manned lunar exploration will be suspended. Instead money will be invested into a vehicle built for deep space exploration, a rocket called Fenix.
Moreover, they will have to minimize costs in order to be able to compete on the commercial launch markets with companies such as SpaceX or United Launch Alliance. However, they might be having a hard time doing that as their existing spacecrafts cannot be reused, whereas SpaceX for example can provide reusable transportation to space at a lower price.
All in all, the Russian space industry is not going so well, but maybe the changes they’re making will be beneficial both for Russia and the entire world.
Image source: www.bing.com