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Shuttle-Mir Background - Russian Space Agency and Energia

The Russian Space Agency (RSA or RKA) was formed after the breakup of the Soviet Union and uses the technology and launch sites of the former Soviet space program. As of mid-1999, RSA had centralized control of Russia's civilian space efforts, whose highest profile programs include the space station Mir and the International Space Station.

RSA employs about 300 people with much of the work being contracted out. RSA's prime contractor is the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, which owns and operates the Mission Control Center in Kaliningrad and operates the Mir space station. Energia also developed the powerful Energia heavy launch vehicle.

RSA's military counterpart is the Military Space Forces (VKS), which controls Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome launch facility. RSA and VKS share control of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where the RSA reimburses the VKS for the wages of many of the flight controllers during civilian launches. RSA and VKS also share control of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.

Related Links:
Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
Russia and Human Spaceflight

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