What Are The Chances?

A piece of the Meridian satellite hit a street named after cosmonauts. But this is the troubling part:

The loss of the Meridian satellite caps a disastrous 12 months for Russia that has already seen it lose three navigation satellites, an advanced military satellite, a telecommunications satellite, a probe for Mars as well as the Progress.

“This again shows that the (Russian space) industry is in crisis,” admitted Vladimir Popovkin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, in comments broadcast on state television. “It is deeply unpleasant.”

Acknowledging that the jobs of the Roscosmos leadership were at risk, he added: “I think it is possible that the organisational conclusions will be quite severe, right up to including myself.”

I don’t think that this is a problem that will be solved by changing out personnel. It’s just rearranging deck chairs.

5 thoughts on “What Are The Chances?”

  1. I hear persistent rumors that the Russian aerospace industrial complex is rapidly imploding due to an aging workforce and few new entrants. Even if they reversed it today, it will take a decade or more to recover.

    1. I wonder if Russian students might be avoiding aerospace engineering because they might learn classified things about rockets and ICBMs that will make it difficult for them to immigrate to the West.

      I also wonder if the fear of being shot for treason and sabotage allowed a badly managed rocket program to maintain good quality control, and without that fear it’s just a badly managed rocket program.

      1. American students may have more reason to be afraid of this sort of thing, under ITAR. E-mailing a link to a rocket-related (but totally publicly accessible) website to a foreign person constitutes a “technical service.” Doing so without State Department approval can land you in a federal penitentiary.

  2. A piece of a satellite hitting a house on Cosmonaut Street? The odds against that have gotta be, what? 3 to 1, at least.

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