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Russian and Soviet Space Agencies

For nearly 30 years the USSR was the most prolific builder and launcher of artificial satellites in the world, accounting for 68% of the 3,400 international space missions conducted from 1957 to its dissolution at the end of 1991. The sheer magnitude of this effort led to a highly structured, albeit Byzantine, system of space program development, funding, and implementation. Early plans to transform the Soviet space infrastructure into a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) family of space programs failed to mature, and the Russian Federation, via the Russian Space Agency (RKA) and the Russian Militant, Space Forces (VKS) both founded in 1992, inherited the responsibility for maintaining a diverse constellation of approximately 170 operational spacecraft and the industry behind it. A CIS Interstate Space Council still exists and sets budgets and priorities but in practice it is subservient to the Russian space program.


Sources and Resources


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