Russian space spending increased dramatically in 2009. The planned budget for Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, was more than ## billion rubles (US$## billion). This amount constitutes an increase of ##% from the previous year’s budget of ## billion rubles and represents approximately ##% of Russia’s ## trillion ruble (US$## billion) planned 2009 federal expenditures. This increase signifies both a positive view of the Russian space program within the Russian government and increased Russian government revenue due to oil markets.
NASA operates or participates in more than a dozen remote sensing satellites and international programs. The Jason satellite, a joint mission between France and the United States that follows the highly successful TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter mission, has measured an increasing rate of sea level rise. Data from the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites have shown rapid changes in the Earth’s ice sheets.
For FY 2009, the budget of India’s Department of Space (DOS), which includes funding for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and several smaller autonomous agencies, was ## billion rupees (US$## billion), an increase of ##% from the previous year’s budget of ## billion rupees.[
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One of the key challenges in a flood involves getting timely and accurate information regarding flood-affected areas. Satellite imagery can mitigate the magnitude of flood damage by providing response teams with an overall image of the flooded area.
The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System is under development by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The introduction of these competing systems, with newer spacecraft and stronger signals, should improve global coverage, accuracy, and reliability.
The Brazilian Space Agency has sporadically continued development of its proposed Veículo Lançador de Satélites (VLS) booster, designed to launch from the country’s Alcântara spaceport near the equator. Brazil hopes to perform further tests featuring a mockup rocket in 2010. Possibly as early as 2009, Brazil is expected to begin launching Ukrainian-built rockets under a joint venture between the two countries formalized in 2007.[
India conducted ## orbital launches in 2008, all aboard its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). In addition to the PSLV, India operates a second vehicle, the larger Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
From the launch of the Sputnik satellite on October 4, 1957, through the end of 2008, approximately ## orbital launches have occurred. These missions carried some ten thousand satellites, experiments, probes, landers, and other spacecraft on trajectories ranging from Earth orbit to missions beyond our solar system.