Moscow State University (MSU), Russia's oldest university, plans to open a space faculty in the next few days, the university's rector Victor Sadovnichy announced Monday.
“We have been discussing this for quite a while now, and soon, in a matter of days actually, we are going to open such a faculty,” Sadovnichy told the TASS news agency. The faculty will start operating next year, teaching a new generation of “space research specialists,” he added.
Russia needs qualified professionals in this field, and MSU should provide them with the necessary education, Sadovnichy said. “The Vostochny Cosmodrome needs an army of specialists to ensure it is working properly,” he said.
He added that MSU already participates in space programs — the university launched six satellites that help its students and researchers study space.
Russia's space industry needs to recruit more than 110,000 university graduates in the next decade to revive the sector's fortunes, the United Rocket and Space Corporation said in a statement last year.
The lack of young talent pursuing jobs in the space sector is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry, which has seen an increasing number of embarrassing accidents and rocket failures in the past five years.