Russia’s space agency has turned into a NASA/SpaceX hybrid


The Russian government has been practically synonymous with corruption for decades, and in few areas has this been more noticeable and detrimental than the country’s space agency. That’s why President Putin has decided to dissolve the agency and turn it into a state-run corporation, which means it’ll receive partial funding from the government in order to complete Russia’s space missions and programs, but will also receive money from the private sector by engaging in commercial space activities. This puts it in the rather unique position of being the equivalent of a NASA/SpaceX hybrid. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin is dissolving the country’s Federal Space Agency, known as Roscosmos, and turning it into a state-run corporation, according to a statement by the Kremlin. That means Roscosmos will transform from a solely government-funded agency into a company that’s overseen and partially backed by the government. It allows the organization to pursue the country’s overarching space goals while additionally conducting commercial affairs like other private spaceflight companies. The move is meant to fix an agency that has been plagued by corruption and major financial scandals. The transformation will take effect on January 1st, 2016, thanks to a decree signed by Putin today that finalizes a bill signed into federal law in July. All documents pertaining to the agency’s activities will be transferred to the new company, and the powers and functions of the agency should also remain the same, according to the decree. However, Roscosmos will go through some restructuring, and any employees who are let go during the agency’s liquidation will be guaranteed “compensation in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.”

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