Two Russian space officials sacked over satellite loss
3 Glonass satellites were lost Dec 5 when a carrier rocket veered off course.
Moscow: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Wednesday dismissed two senior space industry officials and reprimanded the head of Russia`s space agency Roscosmos over the loss of three satellites.
The Glonass satellites were lost Dec 5 when a Proton-M carrier rocket veered off course and crashed in the Pacific Ocean. The rocket was equipped with a DM-3 booster, designed and manufactured by the Energia space corporation.
Anatoly Perminov heads Russia`s space agency Roscosmos.
Medvedev dismissed Energia`s chief rocket and space systems designer Vyacheslav Filin and deputy head of Roscosmos Viktor Remishevsky based on a report prepared by a state investigation commission.
The commission concluded that Energia experts miscalculated how much fuel was needed for the DM-3 rocket booster. As a result, the amount of oxidant exceeded the norm by 1-1.5 tonnes and excessive weight prevented the Proton-M rocket from putting the satellites into their calculated orbit.
In addition, the company`s management did not follow all the necessary pre-launch safety procedures and failed to spot the mistake in calculations, the commission reported.
The Dec 5 launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket was supposed to conclude the formation of Russia`s Glonass navigation system, a project similar to the US-made Global Positioning System.
Russia has switched on two reserve Glonass-M satellites in orbit to compensate for the ones that were lost. Roscosmos plans to complete the grouping of 24 operational Glonass satellites by April next year.