MOSCOW — Dmitry Rogozin, until recently the Russian government’s point-man on all matters concerning the defense and space industries, was offered to head up the Roscosmos space corporation on Thursday during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I will do everything possible and necessary to earn your trust,” Rogozin was quoted by Russia’s TASS news service as telling Putin after being offered the position.
Rogozin, once the leader of a nationalist political party, served as one of Russia’s deputy prime ministers for the past six years. Under his charge, Roscosmos was reformed from a government agency into a sprawling state corporation with the Russian space industry under its umbrella. But Rogozin did not retain his post in government.
Following Putin’s inauguration for a fourth term as Russia’s president earlier this month, the prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, put forth proposals for a new cabinet. Rogozin’s name was not included.
Beside his role in consolidating the Russian space industry under Roscosmos’ umbrella, Rogozin has been personally attached to the multi-billion Vostochny Cosmodrome construction project in the Far East. That project is over-budget and constantly falling behind schedule.
Bombastic and colorful, Rogozin’s international profile skyrocketed in 2014 when, in response to the first round of Western sanctions against Moscow for its annexation of Crimea, he tweeted that NASA could use a trampoline to reach the International Space Station.
Rogozin, who was personally added to the U.S. and European sanctions list in 2014, has also publicly suggested pulling out of the ISS project.