After the end of World War II, the two superpowers began an arms race and a struggle for primacy in space. In 1961, the Russians launched their first rocket into orbit with an astronaut on board. 1964 - The Russians are the first to release a man in a spacesuit into outer space. 1969 - the United States makes a manned landing on the moon, 80s - the Soviet Union plans a flight to Mars. But, since the 90s, Russia is gradually losing its leadership in space.
The Russians have been at the forefront of space exploration for decades, but after the Americans landed on the moon, the USSR began to lose ground. The Soviet Union had an En-1 rocket and a lunar module, which was considered the best in the world. But in 1974, after 4 unsuccessful launches, the USSR's lunar program was closed. In addition, the newly born spacecraft "Buran", which made only one revolution around the Earth in automatic mode, had to be covered. And this huge spacecraft was the Russian answer to the American Shuttle, the Energia rocket, which launched the Buran into outer space, was also decommissioned. In addition, after the liquidation of Buran, the two-seat shuttle "Molniya", which could be launched into orbit by plane, was not in demand. The Clipper six-seat rocket plane was destroyed. The media dubbed him the "Shuttle Gravedigger".
In 1999, Russia takes another step, which finally alienated it from outer space. The unique Mir space station was flooded. Against the background of the colossal crisis that broke out in the country, Russia lost all hope of returning to space in the near future. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country lost a huge number of specialists - it was a massive brain drain. For developments and ideas in the West, they paid dozens of times more than in Russian research institutes. You can understand people, many geniuses had nothing to feed their families with. At the enterprises of Roskosmos there was a termination of funding. After 1991, Russia has not produced anything new in this industry.
When the American Shuttle-class ships had served their time, the United States offered Russia to lease Russian spaceships. Russia lost its leadership in the space arena and has since become only a carrier of American astronauts into space. Now the Russians have only 25% on the international station.
A 2008 opinion poll among Russians showed that more than 50% of those surveyed believe that Russia is no longer a leader in the space industry. Three years earlier, a similar study showed a split of 40 by 60%, with 60% of respondents believing that Russia is the dominant space in space.