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Soyuzcosmos (New Union)

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Soyuzcosmos Logo (New Union)

Logo for Soyuzcosmos.

The Federal Space Agency (Russian: Союзное космическое агентство [СКА], Soyuznoye kosmichyeskoye agyebtstvo [SKA]), colloquially known as Soyuzcosmos (Союзкосмос, Soyuzkosmos, lit. "Unionspace"), is a government agency of the Soviet Union which is responsible for the Soviet space program an general aerospace research. The agency was formally established in early 1992 by President Mikhail Gorbachev as part of the ongoing decentralization of the USSR.

The formal headquarters of Soyuzcosmos are located in Moscow, but other facilities exist across the USSR for various purposes. These include Mission Control (located in Korolyov, Russia), the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (in Star City, Russia), the Baikonur Cosmodrome (in the union city of Zvezdograd), and the Plesetsk Cosmodrome (in northern Russia).

Since its formation, Soyuzcosmos has overseen the gradual increase of the Soviet space program which had not been seen in decades. The 1990s saw a slow progress of the Soviet space program over domestic issues. Despite these shortcomings, the Soviet Union formally retired the aging Soyuz program and would replace it with the Buran program of spaceplanes (on par with the American Space Shuttle program). The highly successful Mir space station would be continued and eventually replaced by the current Mir-2 project during the 2000s.

The overall direction of the agency has taken a drastic turn under the administration of Valentina Tereshkova (who was a former Cosmonaut and the first woman in space), who has increased the overall funding for the agency in a move unseen since the early years of the Space Race. The increased funding has supported new interplanetary missions (such as Fobos-Grunt, Saturn, Tsiolkovsky, Venera-D, and Vesta) and increased research into future manned missions to the Moon and Mars within the next few decades.


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