A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia’s state-run rocket company will enter the space race among private companies.
The Russian space company Roscosmos will likely join the heated space race among U.S. companies, like SpaceX and Blue Origin, which are using reusable rockets to launch satellites into orbit.
“We follow technological breakthroughs very carefully in the Kremlin and in the relevant state institutions,” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Putin, told the state controlled news agency Itar-Tass. “Competition is fierce enough. But we have all grounds to suppose that we can make a worthy contribution to this competition.”
“It is extremely important to retain, for more than just the purposes of prestige, the status of a great space state, which has to correspond totally with new work, new ideas and new technology,” Peskov continued.
Peskov reiterated Roscosmos’s plan to send a manned mission to the moon.
NASA plans to resurrect a moon-orbiting program next year. Russia’s space program has even been sending U.S. astronauts into space since NASA’s Space Shuttle was decommissioned in 2011.
Roscosmos will likely start competing with U.S. private companies to launch satellites into space, and Russia is already trying to develop its own reusable rockets. Russia’s space program currently operates traditional one-use rockets.
SpaceX has already successfully resupplied the ISS seven times, but one SpaceX resupply mission in June of 2015 resulted in an explosion and a total loss of the spacecraft.
The company Orbital Sciences is also under contract with NASA to resupply the ISS, but the company has had failures. SpaceX and Russian company NPO Energomash are locked in a struggle to supply rocket engines to the U.S. military.
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