Russia has only 2% share of space market - space corp. chief

Russia occupies a mere 2% of the world astronautics market, which is worth $290-$300 billion a year and comparable to that of the natural resources market, said Vitaly Lopota, chief designer at the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation. "Russia's share of this market is a little over 2%," he said at the Seventh International Aerospace Congress in Moscow.

Such an insignificant share of the space market for Russia comes as no surprise, since "the more one spends, the more one has," he said.

In 2009, U.S. spending on civil, military and special space programs totaled $62-$64 billion, Lopota recalled. "All the rest of the countries taken together spent $21.5 billion," he said.

In terms of spending on astronautics, Russia takes fourth place after the U.S, China and Europe, he estimated.

During his press conference, Lopota also stated that Mars is the only planet in the Solar System that is suitable for colonization. "Mars will be in the focus of Mankind's attention in space in space in the coming 50 years," he told the congress on Tuesday.

While elaborating on why Mars is the only planet in the Solar System, whose colonization is possible, Lopota said Venus will not suit this purpose, as the temperature on its surface is some 500 degrees centigrade, while the atmospheric pressure is two times higher than on Earth.

"Only Mars is sufficiently comfortable. Its atmospheric pressure sands at one hundredth of the atmospheric pressure on the Earth and it is a good field for building colonies. Besides that, Mars is the only planet that has plenty of water," Lopota said.

Two scenarios could be applied to implement a Marsian mission. "The first one is to reach Mars via the Moon and asteroids, and the second - to accomplish a journey to Mars with stopovers on asteroids and on the Moon," he said.

The planets beyond Mars belong to the ice group, where colonization is impossible.

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