Russia needs to build up the orbital grouping with at least 15 spacecrafts operating in the orbit by 2020 to provide remote sensing of Russia and the whole world, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday.
The president has held a meeting with Roscosmos state space corporation officials to discuss the development of the country's space industry, according to a Kremlin statement.
"The main issues were the implementation of the Federal Space Program, the possibility of introducing new types of launch vehicles and the improvement of the remote sensing system of the Earth," the statement said.
The Russian government approved in March 2016 the nation's 10-year space program worth around 20.5 billion U.S. dollars, but it was partially cut since then.
According to Putin, the remote sensing system, in which Russia has undeniable competitive advantages, needs to be used more actively to benefit national defense and security, the economy, the social sphere, and state administration.
In order to make remote sensing data available for Russian and foreign consumers it is necessary to consolidate all national resources available and, possibly, involve foreign space vehicles in the process, he added.
All the funds raised from the provision of remote sensing services should go to the development of the Russian space industry, to its further technical modernization, and to prospective space research, Putin said.