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Pioneer no more: The degradation of Russia's space capabilities

Author: Aditya Pareek, Bangalore Olivia Savage, London
Publication: Jane's Intelligence Review

Russia was a pioneering space power in the 20th century; however, since the 21st century, its dominance has declined. Aditya Pareek and Olivia Savage analyse this decline and the broader implications on its space industry

The Soviet Union was a pioneering space power in the 20th century, having successfully launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit in 1957; conducted the first three exploration missions to the moon, Luna-1, Luna-2, and Luna-3, in 1959; sent the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into space in 1961; and launched the first space station, Salyut, in 1971. Today, Russia's space programme is not as accomplished or efficient as its Soviet counterpart, with chronic underfunding, mismanagement, and mission failures from the 1990s onwards having diminished the overall capabilities of its space industrial complex.

Leading Russia's tailing space efforts is Roscosmos, a conglomerate of various state-owned design bureaus, factories, and research institutions focused on space flight, space exploration, research and development of key space technologies, manufacturing, and other support functions.

Loss of Luna-25 and similar incidents

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