Miller's Space Odyssey

How and why Gazprom explores the space.
Origin source

The first Turkmen space satellite launched SpaceX Elon Musk, and "Gazprom" is also demonstrated craving for heaven. "Daughter" of the gas monopoly is planning to create a near-earth orbit satellite constellation, to keep an eye on the top of his "empire".

Why else "Gazprom" need to master the Universe and what are the positions of the corporation under the direction of Alexey Miller in the market of private space services, figured out "Co".

Space three letters

Fuel and energy complex (FEC) has a dominant position in the Russian economy. This is evident not only from the fact that the state budget is half filled by the sale of oil and gas. "The attraction of the" Energy is so great that its "orbit" are innovative and industry.

Against the backdrop of corruption scandals in the Roskosmos and two unsuccessful runs for two weeks, "Gazprom" has made a confident step into the starry expanse. Subsidiary of the Russian gas monopoly "Gazprom Space Systems' (SCS) until 2020 plans to launch seven satellites. They will be included in the system & LAQuo; Review. " To date, the orbital group of GCS already has four apparatus, united in the "Yamal" network responsible for satellite communications and broadcasting.

In "Gazprom Space Systems'" Co "was told that the" look "is needed to monitor the condition of the pipelines. From space, clearly visible to the potential dangers of the fuel lines - the strain, fires, intruders. Now GCS uses for this purpose foreign satellites. If the "look" project is implemented, the data will be transferred already to local stations. This here is the cosmic import substitution.

Besides, "Gazprom" uses 7% of power "Yamal". Thanks to their "daughter" the corporation gets the connection with the construction of new facilities, and shift workers have access to the World network. Another 6% went to state structures - everything else is pure business. Satellites are used by various companies for the transmission of television and radio and access to the Internet. In 2013, through the "Yamal" was broadcasting 294 television. The plans of the SCS system gain two more vehicles.

Xiehour in Russia there are only two satellite operator. The first - the state "Satellite Communications", the second - "Gazprom Space Systems." Although corticosteroids and calls himself a purely commercial entity, it is on the shoulders of giants state. "Gazprom" owns to 79.8%, Rocket and Space Corporation "Energia" (at 38.22% owned by Federal Property Management Agency) has 16.16%, Gazprombank - more 4.04%. "Gazprom Space Systems' Board of Directors is headed by deputy chairman of" Gazprom "Vitaly Markelov.

Besides these two players, in the Russian Federation operate Luxembourg operators Intelsat (via its satellites, for example, broadcast television stations Life News, "Moose TV", "Home") and the SES ( "STS" channel), French Eutelsat (its services, including use "Tricolor TV" and "NTV-plus") and a number of other operators.

In "Gazprom Space Systems' stressed that the state has not invested in the company. SCS operates through its own funds and loans. In total, the company projects invested over 40 billion rubles.

At the end of 2014 revenue Companss reached 2.698 billion rubles. (Previous year -. 1.334 billion rubles, 102.2% growth). Of these, 2.609 billion rubles. I was in the telecommunications business. This net loss "GSS" rose to 10.761 billion rubles. In 2013 the company finished in the black with a net profit of 83.5 million rubles.

In 2015, GCS must repay loans amounting to 6.473 billion rubles. The total debt burden on the company is growing rapidly. In 2012, it amounted to 27.067 billion rubles, in 2013 -. 32.296 billion rubles, in 2014 -. Already 49.141 billion rubles. The volume of debt increased due to the collapse of the ruble in the second half of 2014 The largest commitments the company to Bank of America Merrill Lynch: 2018 SCS should pay 16.943 billion rubles. (Credit grew by 72% over the year, with 9.859 billion rubles.).

As we can see, last year was not the best for the "GSS". The company's claim that the investment will pay off, and the loans will be paid. But in the next five years SSC has set a really big goal. Completion of the "look" will require additional financial investments (the size of the investment were not disclosed in GCS), and new loans are now withfalse.

To make out loans in Russia is unprofitable - it is too high the key rate of the Central Bank. No wonder that the head of "Rusal" Oleg Deripaska called the CBA, "the astronauts' heads when they pulled up the rate to 17%. Take money abroad is also difficult. Firstly, it is unclear how it will behave in the ruble, released to float freely. The jump of the course can make heavy debts. Second, foreign capital markets have cooled to the Russian companies to the sanctions after the spring-summer 2014 Even those businesses that are not blacklisted, have difficulty raising funds. Of course, the GCS can rely on "Gazprom". But this support is not the most reliable: the monopoly has difficulty itself. There are problems and the space sector as a whole.

Stealing a cosmic scale

"At first I could not believe my inspectors," - said the head of the Accounting Chamber Tatyana Golikova during a report on the results of verification of Roscosmos. Control department, analyzing the implementation of the budget for 2014, found violations of the Federal Space Agency of 92 mld rubles. Under the attention security officials and regulatory authorities space industry came after three unpleasant episodes.

The most serious of them is connected with the under construction in the Amur Region East cosmodrome. Recall, the first launches from him already planned for 2015. But the scale of the identified problems cast doubt on the success. The new space platform became a goldmine for lovers of pocket cost money.

April 1 SOE "Dalspetsstroy" (responsible for the construction of the launch site) could not say, Where did the 16 billion rubles. The money allocated by the state for the construction of the East, were gone, just disappeared. By the end of the month General Prosecutor's Office has reported on the opening of the twenty criminal cases involving violations during the construction. "I think some officials and people have lost the fear," - said at the Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika. The first alarm bells arrived even earlier. In the autumn of 2014 the head "Dalspetsstroya" Yuri Hrizmana arrested on charges of embezzlement of 1.8 billion rubles.

The situation is unlikely to be out on such a high level,if the workers are not on hunger strike. Yes, in addition to "kickbacks" in the construction of the spaceport were also delayed salaries. According to the Labor Agency, nearly 3,000 people received less than 150 million rubles. April 7 at the construction site arrived Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and reported on Twitter that the order imposed.

A week later, on the roofs of their temporary housing strikers left a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Rescue workers" - read it. In the course of communication with the people of April 16 the head of state promised to bring the situation to the launch site "under the dual control." April 22 became known that the builders resumed their hunger strike. However, the president did not come with a box of money and personally pay the salaries of all the victims. The point of this story is not yet set.

Two other episodes - it's an accident. April 28 space truck "Progress M-27M" launched uncontrolled movement of the Earth's orbit. May 8, he was burned in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. Damage is estimated at 2.6 billion rubles. May 16 at the Baikonur launch site because of problems with the "Proton-M" carrier rocket Mexican satellite MexSat-1 was lost. His StoaBridges with the launch of $ 400 million. As a result, Dmitry Rogozin, said that to blame the "moral decay" of heads of space companies.

It is fair to say that the Russian Federation in 2014 spent 32 start. Of these, only one was a failure (again, "Proton-M"), ie 96.9% of attempts were successful. For comparison, the US spent 23 start once the accident occurred (Antares rocket exploded 29 October) - good luck accompanied the Americans in 95.7% of cases. The EU had 11 starts, once a malfunction. The Chinese have worked just cleaner, but made twice less starts than the Russian Federation, - in their rockets broke away from the surface of the planet 16 times last year. In 2015, the statistics in Russia is worse: nine runs, two accidents (22% in case of failure).

All this has forced the authorities to reflect on the reform space industry (see. In the "To" from 03.20.2015, "The Taming of the cosmos"). The first stage of reform - the creation of a new state corporation. Roskosmos will "Roskosmos". Yes, that's right - used to be without the quotes, and now with them. Hopefully, the recovery process does not remainGSI. Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia should move to aggressively attack the market of space services. Among the quotes are not enough.

"Gazprom" is not for the stars

This aggressive approach of the state could help private entrepreneurs. For example, the same company "SCS". But in the court of the crisis, the treasury is not enough money (in 2015 Russia's budget deficit reached 2.68 trillion rubles.). It's time to think about the release of the resources of the commercial sector. In the case of "Gazprom space systems" rely on the assistance of the authorities or the parent company is not worth it.

In "Gazprom" is now missing their worries. At the end of 2014 net corporate profits dropped by 86%, to 159 billion rubles. devaluation of the ruble has been spared and gas monopoly: in the company explained that the foreign currency debt rose following the collapse of the national currency. Besides, "Gazprom" had to create significant (245.5 billion rubles.) Reserves. And board members also should not hurt. The amount of their remuneration has grown almost twice. In 2014, the company paid to top managers 4.4 billion rubles., 2013 years - 2.3 billion rubles.

Besides, "Gazprom" mired in politics. Europe gives him a lot of trouble by his desire to reduce supplies from Russia. In 2014, the monopoly was able to earn on the sale of fuel to the Old World 1.75 trillion rubles. (159.4 billion cubic meters. Meters of gas were pumped). Oh, really do not want to lose such a market. Misty prospects remain "Turkish stream": Ankara is not yet decisive words sounded. Alexei Miller, in turn, expects to put on the pipe up to 63 billion cubic meters. m "blue fuel" in the EU after transit through Ukraine will be closed.

Serbia, an old ally of Russia, too, has thrown problems. May 28 Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said that his country will join the construction of the "Southern Gas Corridor" - line, which should provide Europe with Central Asian fuel bypassing Russia. Earlier in Belgrade were at first for the restoration work on the Russian "South Stream", and then announced their intention to join the "Turkish Stream". Serbia was an important stronghold of the "Gazprom" in the EU. It is too early to talk about that fRhondda collapsed, but he was clearly rattled.

On the wayward nature of the European market in "Gazprom" react badly. In mid-April, Miller recommended that Europe as soon as possible to begin to lay the pipe towards the "Turkish Stream". Otherwise, the head of the corporation, European consumers risk being left without heating: gas pipeline monopoly plans to bring to the Greek border with Turkey to build a hub. From it everyone will be able to pick up the gas. As Europe came from Miller board, we know.

Before losing space "daughter" of "Gazprom" of the case yet. Nevertheless, in case of urgent need SCS can support. At the same time, Russia has just begun the process of cosmic origin of the services market. The presence on it of the enterprise with powerful patronage threatens to dramatically slow down the development of other companies.


The beginnings of the market began to appear in the Russian space sector a few years ago. Now in our country there are only a few small companies that provide related services.

For example, Sputnix. Works since 2011, engaged in manufacturing small satellites weighing up to 100 kg, is a resident of the "Skolkovo" (it gives the company tax breaks and reduced rate of insurance contributions). Technical director Stanislav Karpenko companies in the conversation with "To" has informed that it is not profitable. During the break-even point Sputnix hopes to come out this year. Celebrating the company and the lack of development of the market in Russia. Sputnix CEO Andrey Potapov said that the share of Russian services on a global scale is small. "For example, our country has a share of 3% in the field of remote sensing (RS)," - he said. Andrey Potapov hopes that the reform of the sector will lead to improvements. In particular, it proposes to create a "feeding" system for new businesses. Small innovative grants to enable them to start, gain experience and reputation in the industry.

Another player, producing small satellites, - laboratory "Astronomican". According to the head of the laboratory of Dennis Malygina, 80% of the orders received from the state. No more support from the government districta. At the same time last year, caused serious damage to the business. Because of the annexation of Crimea, the sanctions and the exchange of general tension Western investors have left the international arena. Foreign components become more expensive as a result of the fall of the ruble. Due to the sanctions access to technology was blocked. "We need the details in the open do not sell. May sell through the second-third-fourth individual, but it is expensive ", - complains Denis Malygin. He believes that the industry desperately lacks clear rules of the game. Chapter "Astronomican" gives an example: Laboratory won the state contract for the supply of equipment. The contract has already been signed, but he said a couple of weeks that the difficult economic situation and there is no money in the country. Contract had to cancel. With import substitution is the same situation. There are beautiful words, but a clear mechanism for their implementation does not exist. "It is difficult to participate in a game in which constantly changing rules or none at all. Although the government can understand the logic - invented the world easier to control "- sums up Denis Malygin.

On the import substitution have to be discussed separately. May 20 the head of the Ministry of Industrybargaining Denis Manturov said that it will cost 2.5 trillion rubles. Part of the money is planned to involve from the business. And the head of "Astronomican 'rights: the state is only good intentions that can lead anywhere. It seems that the authorities intend to simply pour money crisis, as they did in 2008-2009. On structural reforms, which last month called for the head of Sberbank German Gref, the first deputy chairman Ksenia Yudaeva and even the United Nations with the IMF, the government can not decide. That is to allocate trillions of rubles, hoping that innovation, and with them the entire economy flourish.

Another domestic aerospace company - "Lin Industrial" (also a resident of the "Skolkovo") - plans to profit in 2021, declared the "Co" said CEO of the company Alexey Kaltushkin. "Lin Industrial" engaged in remote sensing of the Earth and the development of lung rockets ( "Adler", "Aldan", "Taimyr"). In this respect, the company is unique for Russia. And on the world market, its competitor - the US and SpaceXMask it with the Falcon rocket (but it "works" in the heavyweight class: Falcon 9 launch weight - 506 tons, "Taimyr" - 14.6 tonnes). Alex Kaltushkin noted that the company now operates in the media "business angel" Vyacheslav Makarov. It is the vice-president of the Belarusian Wargaming, dedicated to the development of computer games. The most famous product of the company - World of Tanks. "The private space sector in Russia is very small. The share of the state is close to 100% ", - says Alexei Kaltushkin. The proportion of our country on the world market of space services is estimated at 1-3%. At the same time Russia is launching segment - the leader. Almost half of our missile launches carried out.

Dauria Aerospace (manufactures microsatellites) as yet not come out for a profit. Specialist Vitaly Yegorov told us "To", that in 2012 she managed to get an order from the Russian Space Agency on manufacturing of remote sensing satellites. The cost of the contract - 310 million rubles. Last fall, "Skolkovo" Dauria Aerospace provided a grant of 150 million rubles. At the same time due to the company had to close sanctions foreign missions and focus on Rossyskom market. Of course, foreign investors have also been lost.

Another problem - at Dauria noticed security officials. Previously, the company received an order from the NPO. SA Lavochkin for the development of the project of satellite platforms. In this budget the federal space program has been allocated 10 million rubles. According to investigators, the money is wasted: the result of the show people in uniform plagiarized the work of NGOs. Involved in the case have become the head of the NPO. SA Lavochkin Victor Hart and CEO of Scientific and Production Enterprise "Dauria" Sergei Ivanov. In Dauria said that Roscosmos admitted her project relevant industry standards. However, the NPO. SA Lavochkin not the first time fall under the scope of the Investigative Committee. In the spring of 2014 two deputy director of the company - Valery Romanov and Sergei Solodovnikov - charged of embezzling 180 million rubles. According to investigators, the money has been debited to the fictitious space exploration.

Gas must flow

space services market in Russia is at a very early stage of development and may skhlopntsya at any time. It is likely that the crisis, sanctions and the lack of investors will clear space from domestic companies. It remains only private structure, covered up by the state. And we have only one such company - "Gazprom Space Systems." In this case, the breakthroughs will have to forget. GCS is focused only on the television broadcast, radio and internet signal, as well as the parent service. The result would be a lost opportunity to jump in quickly leaving the train of progress and take its rightful place in the growing market.

Elena Kolomeitseva of audit konsaltinovoy Group "Nexia Pacioli" (engaged in the analysis of activities including space companies) said, "To", that in 2013 the volume of the global market of space services was estimated at $ 315 billion (data for 2014 yet, because not all players have issued final information). Annual market growth is estimated by experts at 4% - the best performance of the world economy. At the same time the private sector has a dominant position. Its volume is equal to $ 240 billion, or 76.4% of the total market. Satellite TV brings hournicks about $ 60 billion in revenue, navigation - $ 86 billion.

Elena Kolomeitseva added that the leadership in the industry belongs to the United States. In the sector of manned missions, Americans have a share of 81% of the market, in fundamental research - 63%, in studies of the Earth - in 48%. Together with the United States of Europe is carried out 80% of the studies. "Domestic market of space services actually not in Russia. Vector development of the industry was not originally intended to market the availability of elements ", - commented Elena Kolomeitseva. She also said that the experience of "Gazprom" is unique. Competitors corporations develop production technology, improve the process of reprocessing, but do not look at the stars, are not engaged in the cosmos.

Indeed, a unique case. The global fuel and energy sector no structures with their own space facilities. This shows us how strong position in the Russian energy sector. It turns out even space exploration in our country is tied to oil and gas.

In any case, the space business can not make a profit quickly. At first, he needs the support of gthe state. It can be different - from the simple creation of favorable conditions under which the authorities do not hinder the development of private entities to increase financial investments and increasing the number of state contracts. As a result, the activity space companies can pay off many times over. Not only in the form of nice figures in the accounting records, but also in the form of scientific and technological breakthroughs in related industries. Space - it is still the cutting edge of innovation, about which so wants to Russian authorities. It would be a mistake to think that the developed markets do without reliance on the state and rely only on the private initiative of enthusiasts.

Analyst investment group "Veles Capital" Anna Nagornykh recalls that Elon Musk SpaceX has invested in $ 100 million of its own funds. A key investor acted State in the face of NASA, which signed a contract with Mask by $ 1.6 billion. For the money SpaceX must realize 12 flight to the International Space Station. In March 2015, the amount of the contract increased to $ 2 billion (the number of starts in the end increased to 15).

Failures Elon Musk is also covered by the state. His firstFalcon 1 rocket fell three times (there were five starts). All launches were paid by the Agency Defense Advanced Research Projects US Department of Defense (DARPA). In other words, directly from the federal budget. The state wants to give an impulse to the space business and pays for it. Everything is simple.

In Russia, however, is now a lot of other problems (seen in "Gazprom" example). Analyst investment company "Pragmatics" Roman Tkachuk says that the state interest in the space program dies. "In the coming years, it is unlikely that anything will change - core funding is focused on the problem of the earth," - summarizes the expert.