MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin has promised to burnish Russia's space glory by providing more funds to develop cutting-edge rocket technologies.
Speaking during Friday's visit to rocket-maker Energomash, Putin said the government will offer more cash to develop new rockets and create more incentives for space industry workers.
Putin's visit came on Cosmonauts Day, a holiday marking the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight on April 12, 1961, to become the first human in space.
The Russian leader said the Kremlin will also earmark 25 billion rubles (about $388 million) to build the national space center in Moscow that will house space officials and research labs.
Russia's space industries have recently been dogged by a series of launch failures that dented their niche in the global market for commercial satellite launches.