As another Russian space mission went haywire this week, there was plenty of other news about that nation’s struggle space program. Here’s a summary of major news from the past week.
- Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov said that an additional 22 billion rubles (~$430 million) to complete work on the troubled Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East.
- Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that 58 million rubles (about $1 million) in back wages owed to Vostochny workers will be paid by April 30. Unhappy workers have gone on hunger strikes and appealed to President Vladimir Putin with a message written on the roofs of their dorms.
- Prosecutors have filed criminal charges against the head of one of the project’s contractors, Roman Suvorov, for allegedly failing to pay 16 million rubles ($320,000) over the past four months.
- Investigators also have launched a criminal probe into the alleged embezzlement of 300 million (~ $6 million) from the Vostochny project.
- Efforts to consolidate the Russian space industry under Roscomos continued. Putin submitted a draft law to the State Duma that would establish a space corporation on the basis of Roscosmos and the United Rocket and Space Corporation.
- As part of the consolidation, Roscosmos is drafting a proposal to combine all of Russia’s rocket engine and launch vehicle manufacturers as part of a single holding company.
LONG RANGE PLANS
- Roscosmos plans to begin development work on a new medium launch vehicle called Fenix in 2018. The new rocket would replace the venerable Soyuz family of boosters.
- In a meeting with Chinese officials, Rogozin proposed that the two countries work together on a permanently crewed base on the moon. Russian is aiming to establish a lunar facility around 2030.