Medvedev fires top space officials after satellite failure [AFP]
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev fired two top space officials and reprimanded Roskosmos chief Anatoly Perminov over the rocket-fueling blunder blamed for the Dec. 5 launch failure that set back deployment of Russia’s next-generation Glonass satellite navigation constellation, the AFP and others reported Dec. 29.
Three Glonass-M satellites were destroyed when their Proton rocket fell short of its intended orbit because its Block DM upper stage was mistakenly loaded with 1,000 to 2,000 kilograms of excess propellant.
As a result, the Proton’s third stage, suffering from the additional weight it was carrying, underperformed, placing the Block DM stage and the stack of Glonass satellites into a lower-than-planned suborbital drop-off point.
According to a Kremlin statement, Energia Vice President Vyacheslav Filin and Roskosmos deputy head Viktor Remishevsky were fired for “the mistakes made in the fuel calculations,” AFP reported.
“The brief statement also said Medvedev had reprimanded Roskosmos chief Anatoly Perminov and order the agency to be more careful in its future work.”