Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on April 29 appointed former First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin to replace Anatoly Perminov as the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Putin’s office released a statement saying the prime minister had “signed an executive order” accepting Perminov’s resignation “on grounds of his having reached the mandatory retirement age for civil servants.”

Perminov, who turns 66 in June, has been the head of Roscosmos since March 2004.

Popovkin, like Perminov, is a former commander of the Russian Space Forces.