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MOSCOW, February 2 (Itar-Tass) – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin to ensure that the causes of the abortive Zenit carrier rocket sea launch are determined and thoroughly investigated.
Medvedev also instructed Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) chief Vladimir Popovkin to investigate the incident and report back before February 15.
A Zenit-3SL carrier rocket with the satellite Intelsat-27 fell into the Pacific in the morning of February 1 reportedly due to a failure of the first stage as the rocket had deviated from the estimated trajectory shortly after the takeoff. It fell not far from the floating platform Odyssey from which it had been launched.
On November 26, 2012, Medvedev held a meeting that focused on measures to improve management in the space industry.
Medvedev demanded an overhaul in the space industry management system, including the central staff of the Federal Space Agency.
“We need to decide which way to follow when reorganising the space industry,” Medvedev said.
“There is also a proposal to reinstate the previously existing institution of military acceptance. Let's discuss this issue. It has also been proposed to resume the work of the inter-agency commission on space to ensure an objective expertise of double-purpose space projects - socio-economic and scientific,” the prime minister said.
“There is a proposal to adopt special inter-agency cooperation regulations to help expedite corporate decision-making in organisations that are overseen by Roskosmos,” he added.
However he stressed that these issues “are specific, although very important ones. Our main goal is to determine the direction we should move in. This also includes the reforms in the central administration of Roscosmos. We need an effective mechanism, and I would like to hear from this report what needs to be done to this end.”
Medvedev admitted that the structural reforms in the industry have been implemented, but it is necessary to avoid duplication of research, production, and experimental facilities. “The number of integrated facilities has been increasing. However, we still need to finalise the proposals on the reorganisation of the entire management system. That was precisely the assignment I gave in order to determine the direction we should move in. The time for executing this assignment has expired, and I would like to hear a full report on the reorganisation of the entire management system at present and in the medium term,” he said.
The prime minister spoke of achievements in the space industry, which makes it possible to preserve and develop the industry. “But we have to work to restore, rather than deplete, those real advantages with every passing year. The state allocates substantial funding for space exploration. Of course, these allocations are smaller than those of some other countries. Nevertheless, this funding continues to increase steadily. Such funding has increased by over 100 percent since 2008. In 2011, the allocations exceeded 80 billion roubles. Nevertheless, there are problems, including accidents and emergencies. We must therefore continue to work consistently on this to prevent these setbacks in the future. We need a new generation of space exploration equipment that is more reliable, long-lasting, and simply more effective,” he said.