Is Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin on the way out?
Russia media are reporting that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev officially reprimanded Popovkin for incompetence on Friday following a series of embarrassing 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.
Popovkin took over Roscosmos in 2011 after his predecessor, Anatoly Perminov, was fired after a series of launch failures. The problems have persisted over the last two years. The most recent failure occurred on July 2 when a Proton rocket went out of control shortly after launch and crashed at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.