Russia PM reprimands space chief for failures

Aug 02, 2013
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin attend a meeting in Moscow on August 14, 2012. Medvedev on Friday issued an official reprimand to the head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos after a series of embarrassing rocket launch failures.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday issued an official reprimand to the head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos after a series of embarrassing rocket launch failures.

The official reprimand essentially represents a warning to Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin that he faces the sack if he does not rectify the stated shortcomings in his work.

"The head of the federal space agency Vladimir Popovkin must be given a reprimand for improperly carrying out his professional duties," said the document signed by Medvedev and released by the Russian government.

Russia on July 2 suffered one of its worst space failures of recent years when a Proton-M rocket carrying a exploded shortly after launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

That failure came after a string of botched unmanned launches in the last two years seriously tarnished the reputation of the Russian space programme.

After the withdrawal of the US shuttle, Russia is now the sole nation capable of transporting humans to the International Space Station (ISS).

Popovkin, a former defence ministry official, has been in charge of Roscosmos since April 2011.

Explore further: NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP Satellite team ward off recent space debris threat

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Russia launches six US satellites

Feb 06, 2013

A Russian Soyuz rocket on Wednesday successfully launched six US telecommunications satellites from the Baikonur space centre Moscow leases from the ex-Soviet state of Kazakhstan.

Russian cosmonauts to take torch to space

Jun 24, 2013

Russian cosmonauts will in November take the Olympic torch to the International Space Station and on a space walk ahead of the 2014 winter games hosted in Sochi, Russia's space agency announced Monday.

Recommended for you

'Twisted rope' clue to dangerous solar storms

11 hours ago

A "twisted rope" of magnetically-charged energy precedes solar storms that have the potential to damage satellites and electricity grids, French scientists said on Wednesday.

User comments : 0