Thursday, December 30, 2010

Russian President Fires Two Top Space Officials.

      As the preliminary probe into the Christmas Day GSLV disaster is now underway, comes the news that the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, has sacked two top space officials for the failure of the Proton M rocket on December 5,2010, which were carrying three Glonass-M communication satellites What is of significance is that just three weeks after the accident the Russian President initiated action for the rocket's failure.

      Space experts believe that Medvedev stepped in because the mission was a pet project of the Kremlin. If it had succeeded it would given competition to the the American GPS. The two officials who were sacked were the deputy head of Roskosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, Viktor Remishevsky and the deputy president of Energia, Vyacheslav Filin. Enegia is a space rocket corporation.

      The rocket failed to reach its orbit and the three satellites fell into the Pacific Ocean--a scene reminscent of the GSLV failing and falling into the Bay Of Bengal along with the satellite.

      Their services were terminated following a report of the inquiry committee which blamed fuel miscalculation as the cause of the accident. According to an agency report, more fuel was loaded and the rocket became too heavy which made it difficult for it to reach orbit.

       This finding reminds us of the speculation relating to the GSLV disaster which states that the heavy weight of the indigenous satellite--2310 kg--may be one of the reasons of the rocket's disintegration. But, this theory has been challenged by some other space experts.

       Whatever it is.hats off to the Russian system for moving fast on the Proton mishap and taking quick action. Equally significant is the fact that Roskosmos has publicised this in its own website. With the Russian President ordering Roskosmos to pull up its sock and observe ``performance discipline'' and even reprimanding Roskosmos chief, Anatoly Perminov, the question now is whether the agency will  feel confident about flying its lunar lander, a part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, on the GSLV Mark-2?  If the Russian lander does finally go on the GSLV, then what better marketing strategy for this somewhat unreliable rocket!

        This is important because a Kremlin statement says that ``on the Russian President's instructions, Roskosmos, will take additional measures to strengthen its performance discipline.''


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