Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took industry observers by surprise on 22 January 2015 with the announcement that the United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC), a state corporation that manufactures space equipment, would be merged with Roscosmos, the federal agency that dictates and enacts space policies. While the new agency will also be called Roscosmos, it will be headed not by aerospace veteran and Roscosmos chief Oleg Ostapenko, but by URSC chief Igor Komarov, whose last job was in the commercial sector as the head of Russia’s largest carmaker, AvtoVAZ.
Komarov’s move, and Roscosmos’ liquidation, bear close similarities to the unexpected appointment of a Rostec loyalist to head up major aeronautics company United Aircraft Corporation chief just last week, a move that also sent shock waves across the air and space industry.
Yury Karash, a space policy expert at the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics, noted that Roscosmos’s former division enabled each section to hold the other responsible for the quality of its work. “An independent Russian Space Agency was one bulwark, however shaky, against [corruption], and now that it’s gone,” said Dr. James Oberg, a retired rocket scientist in Houston and long-time follower of the Russian space program. “I fear a lot more beaks will be wet from diverting funds from space budgets,” he said.
By Matthew Bodner, writing in the Moscow Times Jan. 22 2015, noted that "Under the leadership of Roscosmos’s new head Komarov, an ally of Chemezov, the chances are greater that Russia will forgo extending its participation in international projects like the International Space Station beyond its 2020 deadline and instead go for building a new national space station based on old plans."
Russia’s space sector had been plagued by complaints of inefficiency, lack of productivity and lack of oversight, following a string of rocket failures and satellite crashes over the last several years causing billions of rubles in losses. The Russian space industry’s proposed consolidation, the government says, will help increase oversight and lower the accident rate.
Dmitry Rogozin, the newly appointed director of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos said 29 June 2018 space exploration is very much like a religion for Russians and revealed the “10 commandments” that would be used under his leadership. “As I have already said, quoting from Sakharov, the meaning of our life is our expansion. Expansion in space and on the Earth and also on commercial markets that are being created through the use of our orbital group,” Rogozin said as he spoke at the Moscow conference dedicated to major tasks and development plans of the Roscosmos corporation.
At the same conference Rogozin stated that the idea of space exploration is like a religion for Russians and just like a religion this idea consists of three major parts: the dogma, miracles and sacraments, or being a part of the inner content. He emphasized the extremely high importance of this fact because Russians had always been, in Rogozin’s words “the nation of number ones” and Russian society had always reacted very painfully to violation of traditions. “The maintaining of this tradition, the restoration of this tradition will become an element of our gigantic moral responsibility,” he said.
Rogozin then presented his self-styled “10 commandments” that, in his words, would become the basis for the work of the Russian space industry for the time when he heads it. The first principle is the special control over fulfilling state orders. “This should be as clear as the Lord’s Prayer,” Rogozin said. Second was the direct control over orders from the Roscosmos side. The third is setting up a special department for technical orders and the fourth is introducing the single technical policy for the space sphere. The fifth principle is to include executive directors in boards of various enterprises that form Roscosmos and the sixth is to make these directors prove their worth by passing special tests every year. The seventh principle is to found the “council for rationalization,” the eighth is to stop taking part in lengthy projects and the ninth is to support the international cooperation in the space sphere. The 10th of Rogozin’s “commandments” was “we are not ready to engage in pseudo-charity programs when they hurt our business interests.”
Dmitry Rogozin was appointed to head the Roscosmos corporation during a government reshuffle that took place in May 2018 after Vladimir Putin was sworn in as president for the new term. Before this appointment Rogozin for over six years worked as deputy prime minister in charge of the Russian defense industry.
The Roscosmos State Corporation in the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation is considered the champion by the scale of financial violations. This was stated on television 25 November 2018 by the head of department Alexei Kudrin. Previously, he cited data in the State Duma that more than 40% of violations for 2017 relate to Roscosmos. “The total amount of violations, deficiencies of income and use of funds was 1 trillion 865 billion. This is almost twice as many as in 2016 and 3.5 times more than in 2015. I’ll say at once that 760 billion of this amount is a violation of accounting in Roskosmos, ”said the chairman of the joint venture. Kudrin also noted that the checks led to criminal cases.
This statement was commented on by Roscosmos. “The verification continues, the necessary conclusions will be made and the organizational actions carried out,” the structure said. They also recalled that Kudrin was citing data for the past year, and this was when the leadership changed at Roskosmos and the financial and economic, contractual and construction blocks were updated 100%. "Roskosmos" closely interacts not only with the joint venture, but also with the Prosecutor General's Office, in order to "identify and eliminate violations."
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