Russian Federal Space Agency
Logo of Roscosmos
(formerly the Soviet space program, 1922-1991)
|Headquarters||Shchepkin Street 42, Moscow|
|Primary spaceport||Baikonur Cosmodrome
|Budget||169.8 billion RUB ($5,6 billion) (2013)|
The Russian Federal Space Agency (Russian: Федеральное космическое агентство России Federal'noye kosmicheskoye agentstvo Rossii), commonly called Roscosmos (Роскосмос Roskosmos) and abbreviated as FKA (ФКА) and RKA (РКА), is the government agency responsible for the Russian space science program and general aerospace research. It was previously the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Russian: Российское авиационно-космическое агентство Rossiyskoe aviatsionno-kosmicheskoe agentstvo, commonly known as "Rosaviakosmos").
Headquarters of Roscosmos are located in Moscow. Main Mission Control space flight operations center is located in a nearby city of Korolev. Cosmonauts Training Centre (GCTC) is in Star City. Launch facilities used are Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (with most launches taking place there, both manned and unmanned) and Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia used primarily for unmanned flights of military designations.
The Soviet space program did not have central executive agencies. Instead, its organizational architecture was multi-centered; it was the design bureaus and the council of designers that had the most say, not the political leadership. The creation of a central agency after the separation of Russia from the Soviet Union was therefore a new development. Russian Space Agency was formed on February 25, 1992, by a decree of President Yeltsin. Yuri Koptev, who had previously worked with designing Mars landers at NPO Lavochkin, became the agency's—later renamed to Roskosmos—first director.
In the early years, the agency suffered from lack of authority as the powerful design bureaus fought to protect their own spheres of operation and to survive. For example, the decision to keep Mir in operation beyond 1999 was not taken by the agency; instead, it was made by the private shareholder board of the Energia design bureau. Another example is that the decision to develop the new Angara rocket was rather a function of Khrunichev's ability to attract resources than a conscious long-term decision by the agency.
Crisis years 
The 1990s saw serious financial problems because of decreased cash flow, which encouraged Roskosmos to improvise and seek other ways to keep space programs running. This resulted in Roskosmos' leading role in commercial satellite launches and space tourism. While scientific missions, such as interplanetary probes or astronomy missions during these years played a very small role, Roskosmos managed to operate the space station Mir well past its planned lifespan, contribute to the International Space Station, and continue to fly additional Soyuz and Progress missions.
Improved situation in 2005–2006 
The Russian economy boomed throughout 2005 from high prices for exports, such as oil and gas, the outlook for future funding in 2006 appeared more favorable. This resulted in the Russian Duma approving a budget of 305 billion rubles (about 11 billion USD) for the Space Agency from 2006 to 2015, with overall space expenditures in Russia total about 425 billion rubles for the same time period. The budget for 2006 was as high as 25 billion rubles (about 900 million USD), which is a 33% increase from the 2005 budget. Under the current 10 year budget approved, the budget of the Space Agency shall increase 5–10% per year, providing the space agency with a constant influx of money. In addition to the budget, Roskosmos plans to have over 130 billion rubles flowing into its budget by other means, such as industry investments and commercial space launches. It is around the time US-based The Planetary Society entered a partnership with Roscosmos.
New director 
On 29 April 2011, Perminov was replaced with Vladimir Popovkin as the director of Roscosmos. The 65-year old Perminov was over the legal age for state officials, and had received some criticism after a failed GLONASS launch in December 2010. Popovkin is a former commander of the Russian Space Forces and First Deputy Defense Minister of Russia.
Current status of the space program 
The federal space budget for the year 2009 was left unchanged despite the global economic crisis, standing at about 82 billion rubles ($2.4 billion). In 2011, the government has spent 115 billion rubles ($3.8 bln) in the national space programs.
The proposed project core budget for 2013 to be around 128.3 billion rubles. The budget for the whole space program is: 169.8 billion rubles. ($5.6 bln). By 2015, the amount of the budget can be increased to 199.2 billion rubles.
Current priorities of the Russian space program include the new Angara rocket family and development of new communications, navigation and remote Earth sensing spacecraft. The GLONASS global navigation satellite system has for many years been one of the top priorities and has been given its own budget line in the federal space budget. In 2007, GLONASS received 9.9 billion rubles ($360 million), and under the terms of a directive signed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in 2008, an additional $2.6 billion will be allocated for its development.
Due to International Space Station involvements, up to 50% of Russia's space budget is spent on the manned space program. Some observers have pointed out that this has a detrimental effect on other aspects of space exploration, and that the other space powers spend much lesser proportions of their overall budgets on maintaining human presence in orbit.
Despite the considerably improved budget, attention of legislative and executive authorities, positive media coverage and broad support among the population, the Russian space program continues to face several problems. Wages in the space industry are low; the average age of employees is high (46 years in 2007), and much of the equipment is obsolete. On the positive side, many companies in the sector have been able to profit from contracts and partnerships with foreign companies; several new systems such as new rocket upper stages have been developed in recent years; investments have been made to production lines, and companies have started to pay more attention to educating a new generation of engineers and technicians.
The federal space plan for 2006–2015 
The key elements of the current space plan, introduced in 2005, are:
- Replacement of the Soyuz spacecraft: Prospective Piloted Transport System
- New rocket for manned flights: Rus-M. The program was halted in October 2011.
- Return to Moon: Luna Glob (launch of the first probe planned for 2014)
- Return to Mars: Fobos-Grunt (launched 8 November 2011, failed, ExoMars(2018, joint)
- Return to Venus: Venera D (launch expected in 2016)
- Mars 500 simulation (completed in 2011)
- Introduction of the Angara launcher (first launch expected in 2013)
- Completion of the Russian segment of the International Space Station
- Completion of the GLONASS group to 24 operational satellites by 2012.
- New Earth resources programs using the Resurs DK platform: Resurs P (2009) and Smotr (2007) and a small platform Arkon (2007)
- Earthquake monitoring satellite Vulkan (2007)
- New science missions: Koronas Foton (launched in January 2009), Spektr R (RadioAstron, launched in July 2011), Spektr RG (Roentgen Gamma, 2014), Spektr UV (Ultra Violet, 2016) and Spektr M (2018), Intergelizond (2011), Venera D (2016), Celsta (2018) and Terion (2018)
- Resumption of Bion missions with Bion-M (2013)
- New weather satellites Elektro L (launched in January, 2011) and Elektro P (2015)
Current programs 
ISS involvement 
The Russian Space Agency is one of the partners in the International Space Station (ISS) program; it contributed the core space modules Zarya and Zvezda, which were both launched by Proton rockets and later were joined by NASA's Unity Module. The Rassvet module was launched aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis and will be primarily used for cargo storage and as a docking port for visiting spacecraft. The Nauka module will be the last component of the ISS and is expected to launch May 2012. Roskosmos is furthermore responsible for expedition crew launches by Soyuz-TMA spacecraft and resupplies the space station with Progress space transporters. After the initial ISS contract with NASA expired, RKA and NASA, with the approval of the US government, entered into a space contract running until 2011, according to which Roskosmos will sell NASA spots on Soyuz spacecraft for approximately $21 million per person each way (thus $42 million to and back from the ISS per person) as well as provide Progress transport flights ($50 million per Progress as outlined in the Exploration Systems Architecture Study study ). RKA has announced that according to this arrangement, manned Soyuz flights will be doubled to 4 per year and Progress flights also doubled to 8 per year beginning in 2008.
RKA also provides space tourism for fare-paying passengers to ISS through the Space Adventures company. As of 2009, six space tourists have contracted with Roskosmos and have flown into space, each for an estimated fee of at least $20 million (USD).
Science programs 
RKA operates a number of programs for earth science, communication, and scientific research. Future projects include the Soyuz successor, the Prospective Piloted Transport System, scientific robotic missions to one of the Mars moons as well as an increase in Lunar orbit research satellites.
Roskosmos is using a launch family of several rockets, the most famous of them is the R-7, commonly known as the Soyuz rocket, capable of launching about 7.5 tons into low Earth orbit (LEO). The Proton rocket (or UR-500K) has a lift capacity of over 20 tons to LEO. Smaller rockets include Cosmos-3M, the German-Russian cooperation Rockot and other Stations.
Currently rocket development encompasses both a new rocket system, Angara, as well as enhancements of the Soyuz rocket, Soyuz-2 and Soyuz-2-3. Two modifications of the Soyuz, the Soyuz-2.1a and Soyuz-2.1b has already been successfully tested, enhancing the launch capacity to 8.5 tons to LEO.
New piloted spacecraft 
One of RKA's projects that has made a large impact on the media in 2005 is Kliper, a small lifting body reusable spacecraft. While Roskosmos has reached out to ESA and JAXA as well as others to share development costs of the project, it also has stated that it will go forward with the project even without support of other space agencies. This statement was backed by the above-described approval of its budget for 2006–2015, which includes the necessary funding of Kliper. However, the Kliper program was cancelled, to be replaced by the new Prospective Piloted Transport System proposal.
Space systems 
Create HEO space system "Arctic" to address the hydrological and meteorological problems in the Arctic region and the northern areas of the Earth, with the help of two spacecraft "Arktika-M" and in the future within the system can create a communications satellite "Arktika-MS" and radar satellites "Arktika-R."
The launch of two satellites "Obzor-R"(Review-R) Remote Sensing of the Earth, with the AESA radar and four spacecraft "Obzor-O"(Review-O) to capture the Earth's surface in normal and infrared light in a broad swath of 80 km with a resolution of 10 meters. The first two satellites of the projects planned for launch in 2015.
Launch control 
The military counterpart of the RKA is the Military Space Forces (VKO). The VKO controls Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome launch facility. The RKA and VKO share control of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where the RKA reimburses the VKO for the wages of many of the flight controllers during civilian launches. The RKA and VKO also share control of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. It has been announced that Russia is to build another spaceport in Vostochny. The Vostochny Cosmodrome is scheduled to be finished by 2018.
Space industry of Russia 
Many of the former Soviet Design Bureaus transformed into private aerospace companies and some remained as state research centers.
|Soviet OKB (if applicable)||New organization||Ownership||Notable products|
|Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology|
Historic Russian (Soviet) space gallery 
Vostok was the first spacecraft to carry a human being in space
Soyuz is the longest-serving manned spacecraft design in history (1967– ), upgraded regularly
Progress is the longest-serving unmanned cargo spacecraft (1978– )
First permanently manned space station, the Soviet/Russian Mir, which orbited the Earth from 1986 until 2001
Launch vehicles 
Proton rockets are the heavylift workhorse of Russian space industry
See also 
- Ministry of General Machine Building of the USSR
- TsNIIMash (Russian: ЦНИИмаш) is the Central Research Institute of Machine Building, an institute of the Russian aeronautics and space formed in 1946
- List of cosmonauts
- List of Russian aerospace engineers
- Timeline of Russian inventions and technology records
- International Space Olympics
- Medal "For Merit in Space Exploration"
- Popovkin replaces Perminov at Russian space agency RIA Novosti 2011-04-29
- Harvey, Brian (2007). "The design bureaus". The Rebirth of the Russian Space Program (1st ed.). Germany: Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-71354-0.
- "Russian govt agrees 12.5 bln eur 10-yr space programme". Forbes. July 15, 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-05-01.
- "Space Agency Chief Replaced". The Moscow Times. 2011-05-03.
- "No cut in Russian 2009 space spending, $2.4 bln on 3 programs". RIA Novosti. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- "Russia allocates $3.8 bln for space programs in 2011". RIA Novosti. 2011-01-11.
- "Russia increases number of operational Glonass satellites to 17". RIA Novosti. 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- Afanasyev, Igor; Dmitri Vorontsov (2009-11-01). "Building on sand?The Russian ISS segment is to be completed by 2016". Russia & CIS Observer. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
- "Russia’s Space Program in 2006: Some Progress but No Clear Direction". Moscow Defense Brief. 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- Kislyakov, Andrei (2008-05-15). "Russian space program bedeviled by problems". Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- "Replacement for Soyuz rocket canned by Russia". Spaceflight Now. 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- Chris Gebhardt (9 April 2009). "STS-132: PRCB baselines Atlantis' mission to deliver Russia’s MRM-1". NASAspaceflight.com. Retrieved 12 November 2009.
- "Consolidated Launch Manifest". nasa.gov. 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- Roscosmos - December 31, 2009
- (Russian) RKA home page in Russian
- RKA home page in English
- Russian Space Program
- The future of the Russian space program. Infographics from RIA Novosti.