Space: Russia Rejoins the Space Race


November 18, 2005: Russia is going to try and close the spy satellite gap with the United States. Noting that the U.S. spends over $15 billion a year on spy satellites (more than twenty times what Russia spends), Russia will now boost spy satellite spending to $800 million a year starting in 2007. Since costs are cheaper in Russia, this is the equivalent of several billion dollars in the U.S.. Russia has a way to go, for they currently have only one functioning spy satellite (compared to over a dozen for the U.S.)

All of this depends on the price of oil, since that is Russia's biggest export, and a major source of government revenue. More is being spent on the military because of this, and now the spy satellite gang are getting a piece of the action. Since the Cold War ended in the early 1990s, the Russian spy satellite program has seen its budget cut year after year. Unable to replace satellites that were wearing out, the Russian satellite fleet dwindled.


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