Russia space agency targeted over "stolen" billions
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Nov 25, 2018
The Russian space agency Roscosmos, whose reputation has already been hit by the failure of a Soyuz rocket last month, was on Sunday targeted by the country's audit court over financial irregularities including "stolen" billions.
"We have serious problems with Roscosmos," the Accounts Chamber chairman Alexeï¿½ Kudrin said in televised comments.
"Procurement procedures are bad, prices are too high, many projects are unfinished or halted, and funds stand unused for months, and several billion have been lost - stolen - and investigations are ongoing, " the former finance minister added.
A 2017 report by the court signalled a total of 151 irregularities within the space agency accounts, totalling 785.5 billion rubles ($11.9 billion), Russian news agency reported.
Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin has called for the Accounts Chamber to carry out a sectoral audit and to approve an anti-corruption plan.
Russia's space programme has been beset by problems in recent years, although no lives have been lost.
On October 11, a Soyuz rocket failure forced Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff in Kazakhstan. The pair escaped unharmed.
It was the first such incident in Russia's post-Soviet history -- an unprecedented setback for the country's space industry.
The Soviet-designed Soyuz rocket is currently the world's only lifeline to the International Space Station.
Lomonosov Moscow State University to Launch 'Space Department' in 2017
Moscow (Sputnik) Jan 19, 2017
This year Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), named Russia's best institution of higher education in 2016, will add a department of space sciences to its long list of 42 faculties to focus on mathematics, astronomy, biology, chemistry and informatics, the university's rector Viktor Sadovnichy said. "The new department will deal with things we still know very little about - space, black holes, and people's behavior in zero gravity. It will be training specialists in space-related fields with e ... read more
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