Ordinary Russians see little connection between space exploration and economics.
If anything, they see expensive space programs as a permanent drain on the nation’s resources.
Some are inclined to take it personally, as if the dark vacuum of space somehow sucked the money right out of their pockets.
Space is beyond the realm of the rational and, therefore, beyond the realm of economics.
But Russia’s space program was built, in part, by ordinary Russians using ordinary steel.
Space exploration was considered a national priority in the Soviet Union, with the funding to match.
Elaborate production chains were set up, the necessary infrastructure was built, and state-of-the-art technologies were developed virtually from scratch.
Aerospace specialists were paid stable salaries and …