Top Russian Government Officials Meeting November 26 to Discuss Refining Russian Space Sector

Top Russian Government Officials Meeting November 26 to Discuss Refining Russian Space Sector

Many of Russia’s key government officials will meet on Monday, November 26, to discuss “refining” the management of Russia’s space sector.

The conference is being convened by Russian Prime Minister Medvedev and participants will include Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Maxim Toplin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russian space agency (Roscosmos) Director Vladimir Popovkin and representatives of relevant agencies and organizations according to Russia’s news agency Itar-Tass.

Rogozin announced earlier this month that the conference would take place to discuss how to restructure Roscosmos although today’s Itar-Tass story more broadly references “the system of management of space rocket industry organization.”

In addition to Russia’s unusual spate of launch failures since December 2010, the space industry also has been rocked by a corruption scandal involving the company that builds and maintains Russia’s GLONASS navigation satellite system, which is similar to the U.S. GPS system.  Yuri Urlichich,  director-general of Russian Space Systems left his job in recent days — some reports say he was fired, others say he resigned due to illnesss — after investigators determined that the company embezzled 6.5 billion rubles (about $200 million) of federal funding for GLONASS.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also recently fired his defense minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, as his government tries to crack down on corruption.

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