Launch Failures Isn't Only Problem At Russian Space Program: Agency Lost $1.8 Billion Last Year Due To Corruption

Launch Failures Isn't Only Problem At Russian Space Program: Agency Lost $1.8 Billion Last Year Due To Corruption

The the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, is currently the only way for astronauts to come and go from the international space station. It's also seen 2 launch failures in the past 60 days, exposing serious problems at the space agency.

The full extent of the problems are becoming apparent after revelations that Roscosmos managed to "lose" 92 billion rubles ($1.8 billion) last year, due to insider dealing, corruption, striking workers, and the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome ("Eastern Spaceport").

The financial catastrophe has left the space agency on the brink of collapse.

The agency will now be replaced by a state corporation during the second half of 2015, in a seemingly futile effort to stem the losses.

Tatyana Golikova, head of the Account Chamber of Russia (similar to the U.S GAO) told the Russian Federal Assembly of her shock upon discovering just how much Roscosmos had misplaced.

"At first I could not believe my inspectors," she said on Friday.

Vladimir Putin has already announced he will personally oversee the facility's development, despite many of the issues stemming from his dirty political maneuvering, which favors loyalists of his regime and encourages corruption so long as it keeps him in office.

The construction of the new spaceport is considered a necessary replacement to the Baikonur Cosmodrone, located in Kazakhstan, which has been Russia's only launching facility since the first space missions over 50 years ago.

Dmitry Rogozin, the deputy Prime Minister, has blamed the two failed space launches on corruption in the space industry. "With such a level of moral decay, one should not be surprised at the high accident rate."

It remains to be seen how the Putin regime, with notoriously low morals, will help and not hurt the once independent space agency.

In fact the latest actions to bring the independent space agency under control could in fact be a land grab, as more control by Putin and his cronies could result in more graft flowing their way.

Rogozin confirmed over the weekend that the upper house of the Russian legislature had approved the abolition of Roscosmos, although the new state corporation will also be called Roscosmos.

The Moscow Times reported that "while the old Roscosmos was responsible primarily for mission planning, with other state entities building and designing space equipment, the new Roscosmos will unite all elements of the space process under one house."

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