Russia to allocate 2.1 trln rubles for space exploration by 2020 - Medvedev

The Russian space exploration industry will receive 2.1 trillion rubles in funding in 2013-2020, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

"Historically, our positions in the space exploration field have probably been the strongest in the world, and this should be maintained. Russia has been and will remain a leading space power," Medvedev said at the last government session in 2012 on Thursday.

"The aggregate size of financing is very significant - 2 trillion and 100 billion rubles, including extra-budgetary sources," the premier said.

"Quite a lot of problems" have piled up in the industry, Medvedev said. He recalled that conferences on optimizing the industry's administration and improvement of rocket equipment's quality and reliability were held three times from August to November.

"The draft government program is aimed at attaining these objectives and ensuring defense capability and security in the development of this country's economy and social sector and further exploration of outer space," he said.

This program would enable Russia to be properly involved in promising joint projects, such as the International Space Station or the exploration of the Moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies, he said.

Medvedev also emphasized that, given proper funding, rocket industry enterprises must increase their labor productivity and improve the quality and reliability of its products. "As for reliability, I specifically emphasize this word. This is a key factor now," he said.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.