Having taken over Russia’s space industry, Roscosmos has turned its attention to bailing out debt-ridden Khrunichev Space Center.
Roscosmos said the cash infusion in particular would allow Moscow-based Khrunichev to repay its suppliers back debt of more than 20 billion Russian rubles, or about $300 million at current exchange rates. Roscosmos said Khrunichev’s total debt stood at 114 billion rubles as of late 2014.
In 2015, Roscosmos and Khrunichev were given new chief executives, both with non-space, commercial backgrounds. Roscosmos is now a state corporation as well as Russia’s space agency.
Roscosmos Director-General Igor Komarov is a former president of Russia’s Lada automobile manufacturer. Khrunichev Director-General Andrey V. Kalinovsky is a former president of the civil aircraft division of Russia’s Sukhoi.
U.S. and European government and industry officials who have negotiated with both men say they have brought a Western-style business approach to their companies.
“It’s like night and day,” said one European government official, referring specifically to Komarov compared to his predecessors.