Apr 30, 2017 | Updated: 08:27 AM EDT

Russia Slashes Budget On Its Space Agency

Jan 20, 2016 11:48 PM EST

Igor Komarov And Vladimir Putin
(Photo : Reuters) Head of Russian space agency, Igor Komarov, and Russian President, Vladimir Putin, photographed during the latter's visit to the Vostochny Space Center in Amur region, Russia last year.

Russia will cut its space program by a considerable percentage for the next decade. The scaling back of its space program budget might be due to the tanking oil prices and the continued decline of the Russian Ruble.

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The budget plan presented to the Russian media by Igor Komarov, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, features the country's space program budget for the next decade (2016-2025). The space program budget is now 1.4 trillion rubles (17 billion USD), down from 2 trillion rubles (24 billion USD), a whopping 30% budget cut.

NASA, in comparison, will receive $19.3 billion in the year 2016 alone and will receive an increasing budget for the next decade. The supposed Russian moon mission is initially dated to 2030, that goal however, might be postponed five years more to 2035.

There is also a reusable space rocket development program that it is expecting to finish by 2025. It abandoned the project for now, but might be revived in later years if the economy of Russia becomes healthier in the next few years.

"Russia is certain to implement this project, but at the moment the launch of a booster rocket with a reusable first stage is not economically viable," Komarov said to the Russian media.

The new cosmodrome that is still under construction in the far east of Russia will also be affected by the budgetary cuts on the Russian space agency. The cosmodrome was initially set to feature two launch pads, now it only has one launch pad in the pipeline.

The Russian government is still looking at the new space program in March. It may or may not demand more budget cuts or increase the budget. All of these rely on the prices of oil since Russia is heavily dependent on the fossil fuel market.

It is not just the space agency that is getting the cuts, but also across every single sector as Russia is struggling with its own currency in record lows and sanctions due to the Ukraine crisis.

More: Roscosmos, oil
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