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Russia's space program suffers setback in 2010: official

03-01-2011 08:37 BJT

MOSCOW, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Russia failed to develop its new space systems by timetable last year, but left more to be desired, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Monday.

"We failed to change the situation of the creation of a new space system with better satellites," Ivanov told the meeting in Russia's Federal Space Agency, Roskosmos.

Ivanov said that only five satellites have been built instead of 11 ordered by Russian space forces and six commercial launches have been put off in 2010.

He also criticized Roskosmos and the owners of the satellites for not insuring the launches by market prices.

Abortive launch of three Glonass-M communication satellites on Dec. 5 incurred loss of 2.5 billion rubles (86.5 million U.S. dollars) to the federal budget, because they have not been insured, Ivanov noted, calling it a "childish mistake."

He also criticized another failed launch of a Russian military satellite, Geo-IK, which was placed into an incorrect orbit on Feb. 1.

Ivanov said the satellites have not been used in their full capacity due to various technical malfunctions, and the technical norms violations during design and production process were the main reason of such malfunctions.

He hoped the 24-satellite Glonass navigation system would be fully completed by the end of this year.

Head of Roskosmos Anatoly Perminov said the Russian forces were not responsible for every failure during space launches, citing the failed launch of the South Korean KSLV-1, which was not due to the rocket's first stage made in Russia.

"A new launch of the KSLV-1 was made, and the Russian-made first stage with the RD-191 engine, an analog of the Angara universal module, successfully accomplished its mission," he stressed.

According to Roskosmos, Russia placed to the orbits 23 satellites in 2010, the most in the world by number of space launches. The United States followed with 16 launches.

Currently, 114 Russian satellites are orbiting the Earth.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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