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Scientists are asking the Russian space Agency to return to fundamental research in the space program

© Marina Lystseva/TASS

MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. Russian scientists are asking the Russian space Agency to include in the Federal space program until 2025 financing of scientific-research works (SRW) on the most important and promising fundamental space research, removed in the sequester. This is stated in the available TASS letter of the RAS Council on the space, directed to the state Corporation.

Fundamental space research include astrophysics and planetary research, including lunar program, research in space biology, solar physics and solar-terrestrial relations.

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“We have sent to the Federal space Agency a letter with the proposals of the sections of the Council of the RAS. Each section has suggested some promising projects to small scale to Finance,” — said TASS Director of the Institute for space research, Chairman of the RAS Council on space, academician of RAS lion Green.

As explained TASS correspondent member of RAS, scientific Director of the Institute of astronomy, Boris Shustov, the costs of individual research work are relatively small and amount to several million rubles, which is hundreds or even thousands of times less than the cost of development work.

“But if you “skip” this stage, in the future, when performing developmental work and after the substantial costs it will inevitably have to face unresolved at the stage of research work problems. It would cost much more expensive, and indeed it may be that the project will have to close the useless spending billions of rubles. Ignoring this simple and proven life position for reasons of economy — evidence of a very narrow-minded approach that in such an important matter as the planning and implementation of the space programme of the country is unacceptable,” he said.

The decline of the PCF

The draft Federal space program (BFC) by 2025 to its sequestration included funding of scientific research in the field of fundamental space research. For these purposes in the framework of the project “Search-design research — Fundamental space research” was planned to allocate 1.9 billion roubles for 10 years, however, this project was removed.

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Now the BFC is part of development work “Perspective”, which implies the creation of space systems of new generation for fundamental research. Its funding is 1 billion rubles until 2025. However, it grows only in 2018, and this development work, not research, i.e. involving the creation of specific “hardware” and not theoretical developments.

“The lack of financing of scientific-research works for 2016-2017 leads to irreversible degradation of the system develop promising research proposals for space projects for scientific purposes,” said Shustov.

Offer scientists

At the same time, the PCF remained research “vanguard” with funding of $ 6,827 billion by 2025. This program, in particular, involves the development of advanced space projects, primarily for applied purposes. Scientists propose to complement it with the most important fundamental scientific research.

Among the proposed projects — research work “the Star patrol”, in which there should be developed new principles for the study of exoplanets. Also, the program is expected to complement the project “Moon-Rover” (selection of regions of the moon for exploration using Rovers), “Venera-D” (the shape of the interplanetary station), the project “solar sail” (development of a satellite to study the Sun), the project “Sphere” (project group of small satellites to study the Sun’s activity).

The list includes 41 scientific work. For this purpose scientists are asked to identify 152 million rubles in 2016 and 172 million rubles in 2017.

The basis of the national program

As the scientists explain in a letter to Roscosmos, the funding of fundamental research is necessary, because without them there is no basis for a national space program. The Board ran out in his letter refers to the global experience, where research work in this area has a large amount of funding.

“The world practice of planning and implementation of space projects shows that for the formation of effective national programs of world level it is necessary at the stage of research works to analyze a significant number and wide range of original proposals to ensure a real competition of ideas. In the US, Europe, Japan and other countries with a high level of fundamental space researches on implementation of research works planned significant proportion of the budgets allocated to the space science”, — the document says.

Thus, in contrast to applied research, fundamental space research in all countries are financed exclusively within the framework of state space programs, scientists.

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