Russia announces plan for space program

Jan. 12, 2013 at 7:43 PM

MOSCOW, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Russia's Federal Space Agency Saturday outlined a plan to double the output of the industry by 2020 by attracting private investment.

The agency said combined public and private investment in research and development would come to $69 billion, RIA Novosti reported. Almost all current funding comes from the government.

The government approved the program in December.

The top three priorities are commercial exploitation of space, scientific research and manned flights.

The country's space program has been troubled in recent years. In December, a telecommunications satellite's launch was mishandled, reducing the fuel supply and cutting its time in orbit.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of the space program, announced a restructuring late last year. Instead of dozens of agencies, the plan calls for a small number of public enterprises.

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