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Putin says he supports Russian space program
Posted: Wed, Jan 23, 2002, 8:34 AM ET (1334 GMT)
Russian president Vladimir Putin publicly announced his strong support for Russia's space program Monday, calling it vital to national security. Speaking at a Khrunichev facility in Moscow, Putin said that without a space program "Russia will not have the right to lay claim to a worthy place in the civilized world," according to an AP report. Officials with the Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos hope that these public statements translate into financial support for the agency's programs, including the construction of a new launch pad at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. Putin also inspected work on the new Angara booster during his Khrunichev visit.
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