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Rogozin Proposes Uniting Space and Aviation Industries

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin proposed joining Russia's space and aviation industries at a Monday meeting about the Proton-M rocket crash.

Rogozin compared the United States' 716 new space technology projects between 2007 and 2011 with Russia's 132. "Our (technological) reserve will soon be exhausted," he was quoted as saying by RIA-Novosti.

Rogozin believes that there are developments in the aviation industry that could find applications in space technology.

The possibility of uniting the two industries should be considered immediately, he said, as "there will not be another chance" like the current discussion surrounding the Federal Space Agency.

The proposal comes on the heels of a Monday's announcement that Roscosmos is planning to renew rocket launches in early September.

The agency has been on hiatus since the failed launch of the Proton-M rocket on July 2. The rocket fell apart after 17 seconds of flight, destroying three uninsured satellites with a total value of $75 million.

The failure has led to harsh criticism of the space agency and its leadership. The Audit Chamber declared the institution "ineffective" on July 5. On Friday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev officially reprimanded space agency head Vladimir Popovkin for incompetence.

Roscosmos plans to launch four to five Proton rockets by the end of 2013, though the precise schedule will depend on the agency's ability to meet orders laid out by the committee investigating the Proton-M crash.

Rokot rocket carrier launches are also slated to begin again in September. The rockets have been grounded since February 2011, when one rendered a military satellite useless by setting it into orbit lower than planned.

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