September 7, 2012 - 19:35 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia’s space industry is not in crisis despite some local problems, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Friday, September 7, RIA Novosti said.
“There is no systemic crisis in the Russian space industry; we have problems with some firms, in some sectors,” said Rogozin, who oversees the military-industrial complex in the Russian government.
The government’s military-industrial commission and the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos are working hard to eliminate those problems, he said, adding that they include technology, personnel and discipline.
Russia has recently experienced a number of unsuccessful space launches, losing several commercial satellites and the Phobos-Grunt Mars mission.
This past August, a Proton-M rocket carrier with a Briz-M booster failed to bring two satellites into the target orbit.
Briz-M’s history dates back to July 5, 1999 when the first launch resulted in a malfunction of the Proton's second stage, preventing the booster and its payload from reaching orbit. In August 2011, the malfunction of a Briz-M booster led to the loss of the Express-AM4 telecommunication satellite.
Phobos-Grunt, Russia's most ambitious planetary mission in decades, was launched last November but was lost due to a propulsion failure and fell back to Earth.
Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin suggested at the time that certain forces in the Western Hemisphere, which is a shadow zone for Russia, might be shooting down Russian spacecraft.
According to NASA, Russia has failed in all 17 of its attempts to study the Red Planet close-up since 1960. The most recent failure before November 2011 occurred in 1996, when Russia lost its Mars-96 orbiter during launch.