In observance of Cosmonautics Day, which recalls the first manned space flight, by Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin wrote an article published Friday in the government paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, outlining Russia's future space exploration plans. Russia's federal space program for 2016-2025 is to have more research projects, he said. Rogozin noted that the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, will work with several ministries and in cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom, to draft and formulate proposals for the implementation of new projects. This is a substantial broadening of the space agency's activities, which Rogozin situated in the context of other science and technology areas.
"The key trends of developments within this national project will be the creation of nuclear power plants and energy conversion plasma technologies, development of biotechnologies, robotic machinery and new materials," he wrote. "At the same time, works are being launched to make a technical design of a piloted spaceship" and a "super-heavy rocket for lunar missions, and to Mars in the future."
Russia has been developing next-generation heavy-lift rockets, new manned spacecraft, and its new eastern launch center, Cosmodrome Vostochny, for a rebirth of space exploration. Feasibility studies are also being done "to create powerful orbital transfer vehicles, without which exploration of the Moon and Solar System planets is impossible," Rogozin wrote. He also noted that a weak area in Russia remains electronics, for which is has been dependent upon imports.
"Therefore, the military-industrial committee has empowered the Federal Space Agency to assume the role of systemic integrator and actual contractor of a radiation-resistant electronic component base for domestic production," the deputy premier added.
Jabbing at the height of stupidity—restrictions on NASA's interactions with the Russian space community, Rogozin added that today, amid sanctions, there is an opportunity to draft a development strategy for manned space missions, independent of reliable international partners.
Read LaRouchePAC's "The Strategic Defense of Earth" report.
Meanwhile, this past week, NASA Administrator Bolden tried to "walk back" from the sanctions the White House had announced regarding the space agency, saying that not only the space station, but also joint work on the Curiosity Mars rover had been exempted from sanctions. He said that there were "other things on his list" for exemptions, that were being worked through. Washington can expect that other nations will not stop their space collaboration with Russia, just as other nations have not stopped their space cooperation with China, just because we've done so.
In other remarks on the holiday, Rogozin addressed the Strategic Defense of Earth. Speaking to students at the South Urals Federal University, he answered a student's question about whether the February 2013 Chelyabinsk meteorite might have been shot down by an anti-missile rocket. Rogozin pointed out that current space-based systems
"look down at the Earth, in order to catch the launch of a ballistic missile. If a body is approaching out of deep space, we don't see it at all." Rogozin went on to discuss the threat to all mankind from asteroid strikes, saying that
"if the Chelyabinsk meteorite had been more powerful, its impact might have caused human casualties." Runew24.ru reports that Rogozin considers the creation of a system to defend Earth against outer-space bodies to be a high priority, which the world's leading nations should address together.