Russia plans to increase its space market

Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:32 PM

HAVANA, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia plans to increase its share of the global "space service market" from its current 10 percent to 15 percent.

"We want to be not just a leading scientific power, a space researcher country, but also a player on the space service market," Medvedev said during an interview in Cuba, published Saturday.

Although Medvedev did not give a time frame for the increase, an outline of Russia's state program for the space industry, published in January, projected a target of 2020, RIA Novosti reported.

"We were the first in space, and we believe it's our competitive advantage. But it's impossible not to invest in space. If we just pride ourselves on the launch of the first satellite and Gagarin's flight, we'll simply lag behind," Medvedev told Cuban media.

Medvedev said Russia's primary goal in expanding its space market is putting more satellites into orbit and assisting in international launches.

Russia is in the process of revamping its space program, with plans to spend $69 billion on the program through 2020.

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