Russia’s space agency to create bodies to oversee space industry

MOSCOW, Aug 31 (PRIME) — Russias Federal Space Agency plans to create two special oversight divisions charged with testing rocket engines and executing operational tests prior to the launch of spacecraft, the agencys Deputy Director Vitaly Davydov said Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported.

Under the current system, rocket engine manufacturers are responsible for carrying out their own tests, Davydov said, adding that a special independent institution needs to be created to guarantee the safety and operational reliability of the equipment. Companies, working in the space industry must also be held financially accountable for launch failures, Davydov said.

A commission is to control the spacecrafts launch systems, as well as having authority over the ground crew, prior to every launch, Davydov said.

Russias space industry has experienced a number of incidents recently. On August 24, Russias Progress M-12M freighter spacecraft, launched from the Baikonur space launch facility using a Soyuz-2 rocket, crashed in the constituent republic of Altai, while on August 18, Russian communications satellite Express-AM4 was put into the wrong orbit due to the failure of the Proton-M launch vehicles Briz-M upper stage. Also, the launch of three Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) satellites in late 2010 ended with the satellites crashing into the ocean.


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