Russia wants to increase its share in the global space market by building a new space center, the head of Russia's Energia space corporation said on Friday.
"More than 80% of the space market is controlled by the United States. It has unquestionable supremacy in space. Russia only has 0.5% of the market, but when the Vostochny space center is built, we would like to have at least 10% of the market. That's in the region of $30 billion, which is realistic," Vitaly Lopota said.
Russia will spend around $14 billion building the Vostochny space center in its Far Eastern Amur Region.
Federal Space Agency deputy chief Viktor Remishevsky said earlier in the day Vostochny was critical for Russia if it wants to preserve its status as a leading space power, as well as its defense capability.
Russia currently uses two launch sites for space carrier rockets and ballistic missile tests: the Baikonur space center in the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan, which it has leased since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia.
The new space center, which will employ 20,000-25,000 people, will ensure Russia's independence in the launch of piloted space vehicles, currently carried out at Baikonur.
The first launch from the new center is scheduled for 2015 and the first piloted spacecraft are intended to blast off in 2018.
MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti)