[FPSPACE] Putin on Russian Space
Dwayne Allen Day
Fri, 26 Jan 2001 16:27:22 -0500 (EST)
Russias president slams space effort
Vladimir Putin warns that achievements of the past are being squandered
ASSOCIATED PRESSMOSCOW, Jan. 25 Even as ground controllers prepared to
dump Russias Mir space station, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday
that Russia had to reinvigorate its battered space program or risk losing
all that had been achieved by the Soviet and Russian space efforts.
Putin, speaking at a meeting of the advisory Security Council about the
space program, took officials to task, saying they had achieved only 40
percent of the five-year program for 1996-2000.
Track Mir's positionIt would be unforgivable thoughtlessness to
lose the achievement of previous generations, he said. Neither the
civilian nor the military sides have anything to brag about.
The Soviet Union beat the United States into space with the first
artificial satellite and manned flight, and pioneered long-term space
flight with the Salyut and Mir space stations.
But since the Soviet collapse, money troubles have humbled the
program. Delays on Russias part in the 16-nation Space Station Alpha set
the stations construction back more than two years. Two cosmonauts joined
the first permanent crew, currently aboard.
Putin also announced a reorganization of military space efforts, with
the space forces to be split from the strategic rocket forces that oversee
Russias nuclear weapons, the Interfax news agency reported.