Having graduated from The Bauman Moscow State Technical University in 1965, Y. N. Koptev worked at different enterprises of the rocket-space industry at the Ministry of General Machine-Building Industry of the USSR (MOM), where he ran the gamut from senior engineer to Deputy Minister – leading civil- and science – oriented space programmes.
In February 1992 after the dissolution of the USSR, he became one of the initiators of the establishment of the Russian Space Agency -special central agency authorized for the rocket-space issues, in charge of which he had been for 12 years.
Outstanding organizing skills, deep scientific knowledge and persistence allowed Y. N. Koptev to save the entirety of the rocket-space industry during the reformation of the Soviet political and economic systems in the 1990-s and to prevent disorganisation of the scientific and technical potential and industrial system of this branch of industry.
Upon his initiative international large-scale projects were launched by the Russian Space Agency. The leading national enterprises and the Russian Academy of Science were deeply engaged in these projects.
Scientific and applied research of the near Earth space, implementation of the man-in-space program on the on-orbit station “Mir” by foreign astronauts, and launching of foreign space vehicles scientific equipment by Russian carrier boosters gave an opportunity to raise funds for Russian industry at the amount of over 6 billion dollars in the period between 1994 and 2004. Koptev contributed greatly to the development of ideology, engineering solutions and international agreements for the International Space Station establishment projects and Russian rocket “Souz” launch from the Guiana Space Centre (The European Space Agency (ESA)).