Roscosmos to Cut Financing of 'Russian Hubble' Project Significantly - Scientist

© Sputnik / Igor Russak / Go to the photo bankThe stand of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). (File)
The stand of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). (File) - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia's State Space Corporation Roscosmos is planning to cut the financing of the Spektr-UV international project, also known as World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV), by three times in 2019 and by 10 times in 2021, Deputy Director of the Institute of Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences told Sputnik.

The Russia-led $30-mln international project is aimed at building and placing into orbit an instrument of similar design to NASA’s famous Hubble Space Telescope. Germany and Spain are also involved in the project, producing spectrographs for the telescope.

"The last proposal… has not yet been approved, but the letter [from Roscosmos] has already arrived. It envisions the reduction of the signed contract by three times in 2019, and by 10 times in 2020. The saddest thing is that in 2021 the project will also receive almost zero financing," Sachkov, who is a deputy scientific manager of the project, said.

READ MORE: NASA Associate Administrator to Travel to Baikonur for Soyuz MS-12 Launch

“For such a project, the drop in funding by 10 times means, in essence, a complete stop of work,” Sachkov stressed.

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According to the scientist, such a sharp reduction in financing could delay the launch of the observatory until 2026 or even later.

Roscosmos has so far refrained from commenting on the issue. However, a source in the Russian space industry told Sputnik that "all financial parameters of scientific programs had been agreed with the customer."

The Spektr-UV project, also known as World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet, or WSO-UV, is meant to facilitate observations in the ultraviolet spectrum, which cannot be conducted by telescopes based on Earth.

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