Despite losing out to the US in the original space race, Russia is still the dominant force when it comes to sending up rockets into space.
(Red Orbit) Anatoly Perminov, head of the agency, said the country launched 24 spacecraft this year and plans a final space shot Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.
Russia's current share in the spacecraft launch market is about 40 percent, and counting joint Russian-Ukrainian launches from the Sea Launch platform it totals about 45 percent of all launches conducted in the world, Perminov said.
Although they lack the financial muscle to aggressively compete in today's world, Russia is nonetheless more willing to take risks in space--even more than China and the US.
With NASA retiring the shuttle in 2010, Russia will probably dominate the rocket industry as even the US is slowly becoming dependent upon them for our space travel needs. (at least we will in the future)
Perhaps Russia's ticket to the final frontier will be through servicing rocket launches to wealthier nations, which is actually not a bad position to be in.