Russia needs a long-term space strategy, otherwise it may lose its leadership in the space exploration sphere, Russian cosmonaut and former politician Yury Baturin has said.
"Unfortunately, Russia has no long-term space strategy. For some 15 or maybe 20 more years Russia will remain a space superpower, but after this period, Russia will become a second-league space power if a long-term space strategy is not adopted," Baturin, a Lomonosov Moscow State University professor, said during his speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington on Tuesday.
Baturin was talking about his vision of space development in the next 100 years, which he had presented in his book entitled Cosmonautics of XXI Century.
The cosmonaut said he believed that the U.S. would show big progress in space development in the 21st century.
"The U.S. will try to fully dominate space. In the long term prospect, there will be two power centers — the U.S. and China. They will be the main players," Baturin said.
He said China had a long-term space strategy, while U.S.'s space plan was limited as President Barack Obama had scrapped the lunar exploration program and some other space development projects.
Lunar exploration would be the next stage of space development, Baturin said. He said permanent stations would be eventually established on the Moon. The first station would be built by the U.S. and the second by China.
The cosmonaut suggested that the rapid militarization of space that would take place in the future could result in space wars.
Baturin also suggested that the first spacecraft equipped with an artificial intelligence system would take off for space on the first year on the 22nd century.
"This will make an incredible impression on the humanity, as Yury Gagarin's flight did," he said.
WASHINGTON, June 2 (RIA Novosti)