Space: July 24, 2004

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Russia is now manufacturing  a new generation of space satellites. Currently, with only about a hundred birds in orbit (60 percent of them military), Russia has seen its satellite fleet shrink by over two-thirds since the end of the Cold War. Worse, a shortage of money for satellite design research has meant that many replacement birds sent up in the last decade have been two decade old designs. But in the last few years, more money has gone into updated satellite designs, and thats what the Russians will be launching from now on. This will mean more Russian satellites in orbit, if only because the new designs will last ten years or more, compared to about three years for the older birds. Theres nothing secret about Russian satellite research and development, as they are offering many of their new designs on the international market. By offering long experience, and low prices, the Russians are getting attention from countries that want their own satellites up there, but cant afford the much more expensive Western designs. 

 


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