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Russia sees huge profit in commercial satellites
 February 3, 1998
Web posted at: 2:40 p.m. EST (1940 GMT)
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia will earn up to $1 billion from commercial space
satellite launches within the next few years and profits will soar to as
much as $30 billion over the next 10 years, an official predicted Monday.

Yuri Koptev, the director of the Russian Space Agency, told the ITAR-Tass
news agency that the three most promising fields in the commercial market
are the manufacture of satellites, launch services and infrastructure for
ground control.

The market's capacity will be $25-30 billion in the next 10 years, Koptev
said. Putting satellites into orbit using some 1,200 booster rockets alone
will yield $20-22 billion, he said.

Russia launched 48 commercial satellites last year, 18 on behalf of U.S.
firms. In addition to the American satellites, the Russians also sent up
satellites for China, Germany and Luxembourg.

Russia's space program has been struggling due to the loss of large
Soviet-era subsidies, and officials have sought to raise revenues by
launching commercial satellites.

The Russians introduced the new Svobodny space center in the southeast last
year, which is intended to handle large numbers of commercial satellite
launches. The Russians also have launch facilities in Plesetsk in the
northwest, and in Baikonur, in neighboring Kazakhstan.

Copyright 1998   The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

                                                      (o o)

Steam ships were not created by mastering the technologies of sails and
riggings. Jet aircraft did not result from mastering piston-propeller
aircraft. Transistors were not invented by mastering vacuum tubes.
Photocopiers did not result from mastering carbon paper. And breakthrough
space drives will not be created by mastering rocket engines.

- Marc G. Millis