MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. Employees of Russia’s Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Centre have been charged in connection with the 2013 crash of Proton carrier rocket with Glonass satellites, Investigative Committee’s official spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Wednesday.
The Investigative Committee has completed the investigation into the criminal cases launched after a Proton-M rocket carrying three Glonass navigation satellites crashed in July 2013 seconds after liftoff, he said.
Three employees, Denis Grishin, Alexander Nikolayaev and Diana Gudkova, have been charged with violating safety rules while carrying out works. The head of Russia’s Defence Ministry’s 1653 military representation, Marat Nasibulin, has been charged with negligence.
According to investigators, Grishin, Nikolayev and Gudkova in 2011 were tasked with installing the angular rate sensors on the Proton rocket that are responsible for yaw control.
"As a result of their violation of technical discipline envisaged by engineering and technological documentation, these sensors were installed incorrectly / at 180 degrees from their correct position/," Markin said.
The installation error accounted for the vehicle’s wild trajectory, causing its crash and destruction. During the investigation, Grishin and Nikolayev partly admitted their guilt in committing the crime, he said.
In his turn, Nasibulin guided by the fact that over a long time no violations had been found during the installation process and also amid the job cuts withdrew the control operation from a respective list. He did not monitor the process and the sensors were installed without the due control.
"As a result of these crimes, the damage of more than 5 billion rubles ($98.4 million at the current exchange rate) was inflicted to the state," Markin said.
Currently, Grishin, Nikolayev and Gudkova have familiarized themselves with the case materials. The criminal case is sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office that is due to bring the indictment. Nasibulin and his lawyer now continue familiarizing themselves with the case.