Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the officials responsible for a string of failures in the space industry must be punished with heavy fines or even criminal penalties, Russia’s official RIA Novosti news agency reported Nov. 27.

The latest failures [in the space industry] seriously harm Russia’s competitiveness,” Medvedev told reporters. “This means that we need to conduct a serious analysis and punish those responsible.”

The most recent Russian failure was the Nov. 9 launch of the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, which was bound for Mars’ largest moon but became stuck in a low Earth orbit


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