Russia Appoints Deputy Prime Minister to Lead Space Sector
Russia's news agency ITAR-TASS revealed today that on Monday Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin "empowered" Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin "to be in charge of Russia's space sector."
Rogozin wants a report on Thursday from Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, on the most recent launch failure, according to ITAR-TASS. A Soyuz rocket failed to place a military Meridian communications satellite into orbit on December 23. Today, the launch of a Proton rocket was delayed and the rocket rolled back from the launch pad because of an unspecified technical problem.
In apparent reference to Putin, ITAR-TASS stated: "According to the head of government, after military acceptance inspection was cancelled many things have changed for the worse. 'It does not mean we must get back to the former regulation instruments but its [sic] is absolutely obvious that the existing instruments are not enough,' he added." Putin is Russia's former president, current prime minister, and candidate to become president again next year. Dmitry Medvedev is Russia's president.
Russia has experienced an unusual string of launch failures -- six in the last 12 months, of which five were in 2011.
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